Guard LiAngelo Ball, forwards Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, head coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero addressed the media Wednesday in a news conference about the shoplifting incident in China last weekend. Everyone read a prepared statement and did not take questions.
Due to technical difficulties, Riley is not included on the following video, but hit the jump for a transcript of the Sierra Canyon alumnus’ statement:
I want to start off by saying how embarrassed and disappointed I am for disappointing my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire UCLA community. I feel terrible and I’m sorry to everybody who I let down.
And with that being said, I take full responsibility for the mistake I have made, shoplifting. I know that this goes beyond letting my school down, that I let the entire country down.
Before I thank everybody who worked so incredibly hard to help us return home safely, I want to thank the Chinese police and the government for taking care of us and treating us well during our time there. To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf. We really appreciate you helping us out. Thank you to all the Pac-12 representatives for all of your time and support. Thank you, Dan Guerrero, for sticking by our sides and doing whatever you could to help us through this. Thank you, Chris Carlson, for taking time out of your schedule to stay with us the entire time and unite us every step of the way. To Doug Erickson, thank you for also staying with us and giving us guidance and [inaudible]. To my teammates, thank you for being there for us throughout the process. You guys mean so much to me. To coach Alford, coach Tyus, coach Broussard, coach Grace, thank you for all your support. You guys have always believed in me not only as a basketball player but also as a person. I’m sorry for letting you down.
Lastly, to my family, my mom and dad, you guys have raised me to be smart and always make the right choices. You have never left my side and it hurts me the most that I’ve disappointed and embarrassed you. To my younger brother Ben, this is not the example that I want to set for you. From here on out, I promise I will be the best role model I can be for you to look up to.
I’ve been looking forward to being a UCLA Bruin since I was young. 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.
Away from the court, I will work especially hard in the classroom to show that I can be an outstanding representative of this incredible university, a place that is so important to so many people around the world. Again, thank you to everybody who has been there and expressed concern for me and my safety this past week. I can assure you that I will never do anything again to jeopardize UCLA’s reputation and that of my own. Go Bruins. Thank you.