The three UCLA freshmen basketball players that were detained in China for a week for shoplifting are on their way back to Los Angeles thanks to President Donald Trump.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley had been seen at a Chinese airport Tuesday night checking into a flight bound for Los Angeles. The players had been detained at a hotel in Hangzhou, accused by Chinese authorities of shoplifting a pair of designer sunglasses from an upscale store during the Bruins’ visit last week, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“The three UCLA men’s basketball student-athletes involved in the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China, are on a flight back home to Los Angeles, and the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement Tuesday morning. “We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university.”
The Delta flight left Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport at 9 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to land just after 5 p.m. PST at LAX.
UCLA has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday to discuss the matter. Ball, Hill and Riley will share a statement at the news conference, scheduled for 11 a.m.
President Trump told reporters on Air Force One in Manila on Tuesday that he had asked China’s leader, Xi Jinping, for a quick resolution of the case involving the three players and to make sure they were treated fairly. Trump made the request while visiting Beijing last week as part of his 12-day trip to Asia.
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