Trump wants thanks from UCLA 'shoplifters' freed by China

Trump wants thanks from UCLA 'shoplifters' freed by China

The three, who allegedly shoplifted items while the team was in China last week, could be disciplined by the school, but it is unknown if an announcement on that will be made Wednesday.

President Donald Trump asked China's president, Xi Jinping, for his help in resolving the case of three UCLA basketball players that were arrested for shoplifting while overseas before the team's season opener last week, reports the Washington Post.

But Ball - who is the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball - Riley and Hill missed the game as they were confined to their hotel as the legal process plays outs.

They were allowed to leave China after the situation was "resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities", said Larry Scott, head of the Pacific-12 athletic conference, of which University of California, Los Angeles is a member.

The UCLA basketball freshmen were arrested November 7 morning local time in Hangzhou, China.

After Trump raised the matter, Xi promised to look into the case and ensure the players would be treated fairly and expeditiously, said a US official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, the athlete's Delta flight left Shanghai at 9 p.m. local time and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles around 5 p.m. "They do not play games".

"What they did was unfortunate".

Reports were initially saying that three UCLA players could face up to 10 years in prison for their crime, but it appears they got the break of their lives as Chinese officials reportedly dropped the shoplifting charges altogether today, which also means the kids have clean records again. Now it's up to UCLA, possibly with some input from the Pac-12 Conference, to determine how the three freshmen should atone for what is a very embarrassing incident for the school.

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

However, some have pointed out that UCLA officials might be concerned with how well lengthy suspensions may sit with LaVar Ball, LiAngelo's father, who was with the Bruins in China when the arrests occurred and said of them, "It ain't that big of a deal".

During questioning, Ball, Hill and Riley were accompanied by interpreters and UCLA team representatives, before being released on bail.

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