Donald Trump Asks China for Help with UCLA, LiAngelo Ball Situation


The three players have not been allowed to leave China after being accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near the team's hotel in Huangzhou last week.

President Donald Trump asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to personally intervene in the arrest case of UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball and two teammates, reports David Nakamura of The Washington Post.

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According the Post report, Trump brought the issue to Xi, who promised that he would look into the matter. They did not fly home with the team, and ESPN has reported that authorities have surveillance footage and that the players could be required to remain in Hangzhou for a week or two.

The players - Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball - were reportedly arrested last Tuesday in Hangzhou, China, ahead of a season-opening game against Georgia Tech.

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The trio are now staying at hotel in Hangzhou with a UCLA team representative, and they're required to stay there until the legal process is over, which could take several weeks. Charges against the players have been reduced and the case is proceeding toward a resolution, the official told the Washington Post.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who is one of the richest and most powerful men in China, is also helping to get the three players cleared as quickly as possible.

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Alford rejoined the rest of UCLA's team in Shanghai on Wednesday morning after the players were released. As he was leaving the hotel, LaVar Ball downplayed LiAngelo's arrest, telling ESPN: "He'll be fine. It ain't that big of a deal". "We will comment shortly".