Trump Asks China's President To Help Resolve UCLA Shoplifting Case


The team stayed in Hangzhou before leaving for Shanghai on Tuesday. "We also want to acknowledge UCLA's significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes".

LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested last Tuesday for allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou.

A senior White House official said the players had been given relatively light treatment due to Trump's intervention.

The players were allowed to fly home hours after president Donald Trump discussed the situation with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Three UCLA basketball players were arrested November 7 in Hangzhou, China, on suspicion of shoplifting.

Trump brought attention to the legal matter to Xi during his two-day stay in Beijing. The players did not participate in the game that took place on Friday. He said the trio, who had been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences. They were released on bail after being questioned about the alleged crime but continued to remain in their hotel as authorities continued the investigation.

UCLA defeated Georgia Tech 63-60 in what was the season opener for both teams. It's not clear when they'll return to the US, which is where President Trump comes in.

Since the matter did not occur on the court, it would be up to UCLA whether the players will be punished, Scott said.

Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, and LiAngelo Ball (the brother of L.A. Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball, and the son of entrepreneur LaVar Ball - who has become a favorite of ESPN and Saturday Night Live for what many see as over-the-top promotion of his sons) are headed back to the USA with the matter reportedly having been resolved.

Trump had raised the issue with Xi at a dinner held during the USA leader's November 8-10 state visit to Beijing.