KCK native among 3 UCLA players arrested in China - KCTV5

KCK native among 3 UCLA players arrested in China

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Cody Riley is pictured in the middle. (AP) Cody Riley is pictured in the middle. (AP)

Chinese authorities are investigating three Americans following media reports that three UCLA freshmen were arrested for shoplifting ahead of their basketball game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday that the case was in the hands of local police.

"Three American men are being investigated in Hangzhou by Chinese law enforcement agencies for alleged theft," Hua said during a regularly scheduled news briefing. "China has informed U.S. side of this case in accordance with the consular treaty.

"China will handle this case in accordance with law and protect the lawful rights and interests of the people involved."

A Kansas City, KS native was among three basketball players that were reportedly arrested in China this week. 

Cody Riley, along with LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill, were arrested this week on shoplifting charges, ESPN reports. 

All three play basketball at UCLA. 

Riley grew up in KCK, but played high school basketball at Sierra Canyon High School in California.

He considered attending the University of Kansas, but chose to play with the Bruins. 

A University of Missouri-Kansas City professor talked to KCTV5 about the judicial system in China. 

“There are the kind of hard and fast procedures that determine how a process, how a legal process goes forward," Mona Lyne said.  

Lyne said since the three players are American, it will play a role in what happens next. 

“It wouldn’t be to the Chinese authorities advantage for this to become a kind of a circus that overshadows the State visit of Trump.” 

Full report from ESPN. 

Copyright 2017 KCTV and The Associated Press. 

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