Sports

President Trump gets involved in UCLA basketball players' shoplifting case

President Trump gets involved in UCLA basketball players' shoplifting case

President Donald Trump asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to personally intervene in the arrest case of UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball and two teammates, reports David Nakamura of The Washington Post. LiAngelo Ball - the brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball - Cody Riley and Jalen Hill are free on bail but under house arrest.

The UCLA basketball team is heading back to Los Angeles without three players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Trump Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has already been in touch with the families of the three players as well as university officials including UCLA coach Steve Alford. Xi promised Trump after the meeting that he would consider the case and that the players would receive fair treatment, a source familiar with the situation told the Washington Post. ESPN reported last Friday that police have surveillance footage of the trio committing the crimes in three stores in the high-end shopping center.

Chinese authorities told the Post that the charges have been downgraded and the case against them is on a fast track toward resolution.

More news: TAX REFORM: Tax jump for households earning under $200K

The team has since returned home, without Ball, Riley and Hill.

LaVar Ball, his wife Tina and son LaMelo had breakfast with the UCLA team in Shanghai on Wednesday morning.

News of the arrests was widespread not only in the United States but also in China, breaking just a day before Trump arrived in the country. The president spent two days in China with Xi, discussing North Korea and trade relations among other issues.


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