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With Son Detained in China, Ball Family Saga Takes Bad …

Alex Johnson and Kristen Welker and Michelle Dubert

LOS ANGELES — The saga of the basketballing Ball family — a tale literally made for TV — has gone seriously off script as one of the star sons languishes in China, detained on suspicion of shoplifting.

The detention of LiAngelo Ball, one of the featured family members in the Facebook reality series “Ball in the Family,” is so high-profile that President Donald Trump personally brought it up during his meeting in Beijing last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a White House spokesman told NBC News on Monday.

Image: LiAngelo Ball

UCLA Bruins guard LiAngelo Ball during a game in February for Chino Hills High School near Los Angeles.