Donald Trump asked China's president to help resolve UCLA basketball player arrests

Zhu Guangyao

LiAngelo Ball Arrested In China for Shoplifting ... UCLA Cooperating with Officials

Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the situation, according to the Washington Post. Hangzhou, China, police arrested the three Bruins last week on shoplifting charges, and they didn't fly home with the rest of the team.

The Post reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been in touch with the players' families and spoken to UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford.

A USA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Post that Xi promised to look into the case and ensure that the players be treated fairly and expeditiously, adding that the charges against the three players have been reduced and that the case is moving toward a resolution. The source told ESPN there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end retail center. The three freshmen are now reportedly out on bail.

LiAngelo Ball's brother, Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball, told reporters his family has remained in China while the case is pending. The team was in Shanghai to face Georgia Tech in their season opener on November 4. Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, and the anonymous US official told the newspaper that charges against the three players have been reduced and that the case is headed toward a resolution.

Mr. Trump arrived in Beijing as part of his 12-day Asia trip one day after the players' arrest. The president spent two days in China with Xi, discussing North Korea and trade relations among other issues.

The State Department typically takes the lead on cases involving U.S. citizens who are arrested overseas, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing is aware of the case, officials said.

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