March 21, 2018

UCLA players set to return to U.S. after being detained in China

14 November 2017, 04:09 | Taylor George

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte

President Donald Trump has personally asked for Chinese general secretary Xi Jinping to look into the arrests involving UCLA players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, The Washington Post reported.

Trump raised the issue with Xi during their meeting on Saturday, The Washington Post reports, and Xi promised the players will be fairly treated. The president's chief of staff John Kelly has also been in contact with the players' families as well as the team's coach.

"When I heard about it two days ago, I had a great conversation with President Xi", Trump told reporters on Air Force One shortly after taking off today from Manila, Philippines. The source told ESPN there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end retail center.

The Washington Post reported Monday that a USA official indicated that shoplifting charges against the players have been reduced, and the case could be resolved soon.

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Three UCLA basketball stars may be left in China as allegations against them for shoplifting go through the legal system.

The were questioned last week about allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins had been staying before leaving for Shanghai to face Georgia Tech on Saturday.

LaVar Ball, the vocal father of the UCLA freshman and Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, said Monday in a tweet that he and his youngest son LaMelo were in Hong Kong to market his $495 Big Baller Brand shoes.

Back in Los Angeles, the rest of the Bruins prepared for the team's home opener Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion against Central Arkansas. "The University is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time".

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