China releases three UCLA players after Trump intervenes
Three UCLA basketball players were on their way back to the U.S. Tuesday after President Trump asked China’s president personally to intervene on their shoplifting charges.
Li Angelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, who were arrested after being accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, were released and were traveling back home. The rest of the UCLA team returned home last Saturday.
Trump said Tuesday he personally intervened with Chinese President Xi Jinping to seek their release. “I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump told reporters. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now.”
The team’s trip to play its season opening win over Georgia Tech in Shanghai coincided with Trump’s state visit to Beijing.
“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump said. You’re talking about very long prison sentences. And hopefully everything is going to work out. But it’s a very, very rough situation with what happened to them. That was not something that should have happened.”
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the school is weighing its options as far as a possible punishment.