Last week, UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were questioned and arrested in Hangzhou, China, for allegedly shoplifting from stores inside a high-end shopping center located inside the hotel where the Bruins were staying before their game against Georgia Tech. The players did not fly home with the team following UCLA’s win over the Yellow Jackets and could be required to stay in Hangzhou for a week or two.
According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump has “personally asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help resolve the case.”
After Trump raised the matter, Xi promised to look into the case and ensure that the players are treated fairly and expeditiously, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been in touch with the families of the players and has spoken with UCLA coach Steve Alford, and Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, the official added. This official indicated that charges against the players have been reduced and that the case is proceeding toward a resolution.
Trump spent two days in Beijing, but made “no public mention of the UCLA case.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to the Post that Trump did discuss the issue with Xi.