Trump asked Chinese president for help over arrested UCLA basketball players


Ball, Riley and Hill are now confided to their Hangzhou hotel and reportedly may have to wait up to two weeks until they are able to return home.

President Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case of three UCLA men's basketball players arrested for shoplifting. After Trump's entreaties, Jinping reportedly said he would look into it and make sure the players were treated fairly and expeditiously.

The players involved are Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

The UCLA Bruins were in China to open the NCAA basketball season against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

Surveillance video of the players appeared to show them shoplifting from stores inside of the high-end shopping complex including Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

According to a report in The Washington Post published Monday morning, Trump raised the arrests during his two-day state visit to Beijing. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been in touch with the families of the players and spoken with UCLA coach Steve Alford, and Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, the official added.

An anonymous US official told the Post that charges against the three players have been reduced and that the case is headed toward a resolution.

The White House confirmed in an email to the Washington Post, which first reported Trump's involvement, that the president brought up the issue with Xi.

The three players remain in China and could be required to stay there for the next couple of weeks.