UCLA Basketball Players Released From China

Elias Hubbard
November 16, 2017

The Commissioner of the Pacific-12 Athletic Conference says Li-Angelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley boarded a flight at a Shanghai airport today. Ball is a younger brother of National Basketball Association rookie Lonzo Ball.

Early Thursday morning, President Donald Trump directed a pair of tweets at three UCLA basketball players who had been arrested in China for shoplifting and had thanked Trump for helping them return to the US this week.

"We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university", Scott said in a news release.

According to the president's chief of staff John Kelly, Trump called China's president Xi Jinping to expedite the "knuckleheads'" case.

Trump, who was wrapping up his 12-day trip through Asia, said that he had advocated for the UCLA players, who had been in China for an exhibition of Pac-12 teams.

"To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking time to intervene on our behalf", Riley said, per the New York Times.

"What they did was unfortunate", Trump said. You're talking about very long prison sentences. They were placed under house arrest at the luxury hotel and were not permitted to play in UCLA's season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Friday. "He was terrific and they're working on it right now".

At this time, it's unclear whether the players were released due to of lack of evidence or if a deal was struck between Trump and Xi. "But that was not a good subject. It was not something that should have happened".

The trio were held on suspicion of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store and later freed on bail but ordered to remain in the picturesque Chinese city. The Post cited an official who indicated charges against the players have been reduced and the case is close to resolution.

All three players have been suspended indefinitely; UCLA has pledged to continue their investigation into the incident.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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