Chinese police question, clear 3 Georgia Tech players

7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 Sports
Police vehicle sits outside Georgia Tech team hotel as 3 players were investigated over several hours on Tuesday in Hangzhou, China. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)

UPDATE, 4:55 p.m. ET: Three UCLA basketball players were arrested Tuesday morning for shoplifting, according to an ESPN report. They are freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Corey Riley. Georgia Tech plays UCLA Saturday (Friday evening in the U.S.) in Shanghai.

Local police were called to the team hotel for both UCLA and Georgia Tech on Tuesday morning to investigate an unknown matter. Three Tech basketball players were questioned and cleared, according to a statement from the school.

UCLA basketball players were also involved.

“We are aware of the matter involving UCLA student-athletes and we are gathering more information,” team spokesman Alex Timiraos said in a statement.

The three Tech players who were questioned and cleared were sophomore Justin Moore and freshmen Jose Alvarado and Jon Brown.

“During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated,” the statement read. “They will rejoin the team on Tuesday and resume their scheduled activities in advance of Saturday’s season opener vs. UCLA in Shanghai.”

Activity at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou on Tuesday morning indicated a problem had arisen as both teams were diverted from their day’s schedules in advance of their practices for Saturday’s game.

Police inspected the UCLA team bus’ cargo compartment as players on the bus waited to go to practice. After a lengthy delay, players eventually got off the board and returned to the hotel. Additional police vehicles arrived at the hotel around 11:40 a.m. local time.

Meanwhile, the Tech team was set to leave for practice around 8:30 a.m., but players were eventually directed to a conference room reserved for team meals and then were taken to an unscheduled study hall. The three aforementioned players were not present.

Both teams left Hangzhou for Shanghai Tuesday afternoon.

(Check back for additional reporting from AJC Georgia Tech beat writer Ken Sugiura as developments continue).

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