UCLA basketball freshmen fly home after one-week detainment in China

Trump Tells UCLA Students Released From China To

The players were released on bail Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China, and reportedly did not accompany the team back to Los Angeles after UCLA's 63-60 victory over Georgia Tech.

President Donald Trump worked with Chinese president Xi Jinping on having three arrested UCLA basketball players returned to the United States and now he apparently is asking about a show of appreciation from the Bruins.

After Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill read statements acknowledging their role in an worldwide incident that caused President Donald Trump to take credit for intervening on their behalf, UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford announced their indefinite suspensions. Alford said that during the suspension, which is indefinite because the school is now going through its legal process with the three students, they will not participate in basketball workouts or practices, will not travel with the team and will not dress for home games.

Riley, Hill and Ball were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting from three high-end stores in a shopping center next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou but were released on bail November 8.

Trump said on board Air Force One on Tuesday about President Xi, "He was terrific, and they're working on [the players' release] right now".

Ball told reporters he had not exercised his "best judgment" and vowed never to repeat the "stupid decision" to steal, also thanking Trump, as well as the Chinese police and UCLA. You're talking about very long prison sentences. "We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities". The teams had traveled to Hangzhou earlier in the week to visit the headquarters of the game's sponsor, Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.




The effort was successful as the three players returned home late Tuesday afternoon, where they may be disciplined by the school as a result of the worldwide scandal.

A senior White House official said the players had been given relatively light treatment due to Trump's intervention. Neither made any mention of the UCLA players' arrests. "Both Athletics and the Office of Student Conduct will review this incident and guide any action with respect to the involved students".

"I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law", he said.

LaVar, LaMelo and Tina Ball - the family's matriarch - all went to China to watch LiAngelo play his first game as a Bruin and promote the opening of a Big Baller Brand pop-up shop in Shanghai.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero confirmed Ball, Riley and Hill stole merchandise from three different stores, per Bonagura.

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