Cody Riley of LiAngelo Ball-UCLA Shoplifting Scandal Declares for Draft

The three UCLA freshmen involved in the November shoplifting scandal in China — LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley — were suspended for the entire season. Ball dropped out of school, and his father, LaVar, helped him and his younger brother, LaMelo, go professional in Lithuania.

Hill and Riley, meanwhile, served their suspensions. But Riley might never actually suit up for the Bruins (with the exception of one exhibition). The freshman has declared for the NBA Draft, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Riley’s name appeared on a list of 236 early-entry candidates. He has not, however, hired an agent. Thus, after testing the waters, he could choose to return to school as a redshirt freshman if his draft stock is not what he would like it to be.

Riley’s lone exhibition experience came in a November win against Cal State Los Angeles. He came off the bench and totaled eight points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. He also, however, racked up five turnovers.

A few days later, the notorious shoplifting incident occurred.

“I’ve been looking forward to being a UCLA Bruin since I was young,” Riley said in a statement at the time. “The alumni here have set such a high standard both academically and athletically and as a UCLA student-athlete, I’m disappointed in myself that I failed to live up to that. I can only hope that my actions, my words, my hard work in the weeks to come will prove to my coaches, my teammates and our fans that I am more capable of meeting that high standard.”

Riley, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward, was a four-star recruit. The Chatsworth, Calif., native had offers from a number of major programs, including Kansas and Oklahoma.

About Aaron Mansfield

Aaron Mansfield is a freelance sports writer. His work has appeared in Complex, USA Today and the New York Times. Mansfield is a PhD candidate at UMass Amherst.

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