UCLA Basketball Players Thank President Trump as They Return to US Soil

Thank you President Trump’? – US leader hints at UCLA gratitude for negotiating release
U.S. President Donald Trump
Author

16 November, 2017

Three UCLA basketball players are returning to the United States after President Donald Trump reportedly negotiated their release from police in Hangzhou, China. TMZ reports that Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley just touched down at LAX airport moments ago following a 13-hour flight out from Shanghai, China.

The case garnered additional attention because LiAngelo Ball is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, and because the timing of the arrests coincided with Trump's visit.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, the leader of the western US collegiate athletic conference, said that the matter had "been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities".

The three were in China with their Bruins teammates last week to open the season against Georgia Tech on Friday. The guys were arrested last Tuesday on shoplifting charges at three designer stores at a mall next to to their hotel, including Louis Vuitton sunglasses.

Trump raised the issue with Xi during their meeting on Saturday, The Washington Post reports, and Xi promised the players will be fairly treated.

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At the press conference, the accused players also apologized for their actions and said they did not exercise the proper judgment. "They [the Chinese authorities] do not play games". "They do not play games". The teams had traveled to Hangzhou earlier in the week to visit the headquarters of the game's sponsor, Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Pac-12 is the college athletic conference in which UCLA participates. Neither made any mention of the UCLA players' arrests.

"I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law", UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement.

The news of Trump's involvement was greeted with a range of surprise, outrage and opinions about the Ball family by people weighing in on social media.

During the press conference, all three players thanked the president and the USA government for their help in helping to get them home.

A contrite Riley and Hill expressed similar sentiments.


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