Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Donald Trump on LiAngelo Ball, teammates: 'What they did was unfortunate'

Donald Trump on LiAngelo Ball, teammates: 'What they did was unfortunate'

Trump reportedly brought up the issue during his meeting with Xi on Saturday in Beijing, and Xi promised that the three players would be treated fairly and expeditiously.

The three UCLA basketball players arrested and accused of shoplifting in China last week thanked President Donald Trump at Wednesday's press conference for helping to secure their release.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill - were arrested last week for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel. That LiAngelo Ball is the brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, of the now famous basketball family of patriarch Lavar Ball, has only increased interest.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement released Tuesday that "the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities".

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The UCLA freshmen on the receiving end of Trump's confusing message - LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hall - admitted to stealing while the team was overseas to play an exhibition game, but didn't specify what they were caught shoplifting.

UCLA coach Steve Alford said he did not know of any debate UCLA officials were having concerning the length of the players' suspensions.

"I had a great conversation with President Xi", Trump said.

During the players' suspension, "they will not travel with the team nor will they suit up for home games".

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Mr. Trump said of the situation, "What they did was unfortunate".

On Wednesday morning, Trump wondered on Twitter whether the players would thank him for his efforts, claiming that they had faced a possible sentence of 10 years in prison.

There was no immediate indication on whether the players will face any punishment from the team or the university. Ball, Hill and Riley were then taken to a police station, said Guerrero, and were freed on the morning of November 8 on $2,200 bail.

"There's just no other way to put it", he said. "We remain one of the world's top academic institutions in large part because of our values and standards, which we work hard to infuse throughout our campus community".

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