Three American basketball stars were arrested in China for property theft while the team was visiting for an international tournament. The players have finally been released and are en route traveling to the United States.
The UCLA players are LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley. The young men were arrested by police for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a high end store near the team’s hotel. The players have been detained by Chinese authorities for over a week.
It certainly is no coincidence that their release happened just days after President Donald Trump appealed in person to Chinese leader Xi Jinping demanding the athletes release.
On Tuesday, US officials confirmed that the issue “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities,” thanking President Trump for resolving “the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China.”
“I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump told journalists aboard Air Force One as he returned from his two-week long trip to Asia. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now, and hopefully everything is going to work out.”
“What they did was unfortunate,” he added. “You know, you’re talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games.”
Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, of which UCLA is a member, thanks President Trump in a statement he gave.
“We want to thank the President, the White House and the US State Department for their efforts towards resolution,” said Scott.
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