Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting leaving China
President Donald Trump confirmed that he did intervene with China President Xi Jinping in the case of three UCLA basketball players who were arrested after shoplifting in China and those players are set to leave the country.
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 before their season opener against Georgia Tech.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the players were set to fly back home late Tuesday. The players were seen checking into to Pudong International Airport in Shanghai and boarding a flight bound for Los Angeles.
The players were released on bail Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China, and reportedly did not accompany the team back to Los Angeles after UCLA's 63–60 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
"What they did was unfortunate. You know, you're talking about very long prison sentences," Trump said, according to CBS News. "They do not play games."
Trump said that Xi is helping out with the case and has been "terrific on that subject" and added that he hopes the players are able to return home soon.
"Hopefully everything is going to work out," Trump said. "It's a very rough situation."
U.S. diplomats have been in contact with the families of the players and have also spoken with UCLA head coach Steve Alford.