It looks like LiAngelo Ball isn’t going to play for UCLA after all. After Ball and two other Bruins’ freshmen were arrested for shoplifting during UCLA’s trip to China, then eventually sent home (leading to a feud between LiAngelo’s father LaVar Ball and U.S. president Donald Trump over if LaVar was grateful enough for Trump’s intervention) and suspended indefinitely by the school, TMZ reported Monday that LaVar has pulled LiAngelo out of school:
It’s a stunning move … LiAngelo Ball will no longer be on the UCLA basketball team and, in fact, he will not be a student at UCLA … because his father, LaVar Ball, is removing him from the institution … TMZ Sports has learned.
…We’re told LaVar believes the suspension was unfair, especially since the charges were dropped. LaVar’s people tell TMZ the famous dad thinks, “There’s no need to break down a kid’s spirit for making a mistake.”
Our sources say LiAngelo is not officially withdrawn from the school but he’s at home and will not return to UCLA.
LiAngelo was a freshman and never actually played a game for the team.
A family spokesperson added LiAngelo and Lavar appreciate UCLA for everything … despite the circumstances that led to the suspension.
So, it sounds like LiAngelo will have a lot of time on his hands to tape further episodes of their Ball In The Family reality show for Facebook, unless he decides to head to an overseas league or something.
LaVar Ball told ESPN that they would be “exploring other options” in regards to the middle Ball son’s future.
LaVar Ball told ESPN he has pulled LiAngelo Ball from UCLA. "We are exploring other options with Gelo," LaVar said. "He's out of there."
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 4, 2017
He isn’t eligible for the NBA yet, as while he’s 19, he isn’t a year from high school graduation. Bylaws suggest he could possibly join the G-League (without the possibility of a NBA callup), but that seems unlikely. So there may be a lot of LiAngelo appearances on Facebook, and not too many elsewhere until next year’s NBA draft. And that could be interesting, as LiAngelo was already seen as a draft longshot by many before the shoplifting incident. Leaving UCLA may make his odds even longer.