Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Donald Trump Asks China's President For Help Resolving LiAngelo Ball's Case

Melinda Barton | 13 November, 2017, 21:09

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

The UCLA men's basketball team flew back to the USA over the weekend without forwards Jalen Hill and Cody Riley and guard LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. The source noted that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.

The White House confirmed in an email to the Washington Post, which first reported Trump's involvement, that the president brought up the issue with Xi.

As reported earlier by The Root, the players did not play in the game they came to China for against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, nor did they fly home with the team. They were released on bail last week, but were told to remain in Hangzhou until the legal process was completed.

If the charges have been downgraded, that would be good news, indeed, for the three accused players. During the broadcast, ESPN's Arash Markazi tweeted that sources told him the three players would have to stay back in China for what could be multiple weeks. UCLA is one of the top basketball programs in the country, and the Ball family has become well known in the sports world, including LiAngelo's outspoken father, LaVar Ball.