Alford 'surprised' to learn Ball was leaving UCLA

From ESPN - December 5, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford said he was surprised Monday when he learned through various media reports that freshman LiAngelo Ball was leaving the program and withdrawing from school.

Ball was one of three freshmen suspended indefinitely after a shoplifting incident in China in November that became international news.

"I do not think it's angry. I think it was more, maybe, surprised," Alford said when asked for his reaction to the news. "If you are looking for one word, maybe it's surprised because it's nothing that we saw coming.

"LiAngelo has been, since coming back [from China], he's been tremendous. He's been to all of his classes, he's been to all the tutors, all the mentors. He's done exactly what's been asked of him."

Alford said he has not talked with Ball or his father, LaVar Ball, and does not plan to reach out to either of them.

"Why for? I did not make that decision, so I am here," he said. "I am at Pauley [Pavilion] every day. I am at the Ostin Center every day working, so if they need to talk, they know where to find me."

LaVar Ball told ESPN's Jeff Goodman on Monday that LiAngelo will not transfer to another school and will begin preparing for the NBA draft.


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