President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping talked UCLA basketball while Trump was in China for a state visit, but the conversation wasn’t about how good the Bruins will be this season.
Instead, Trump raised the topic of the three UCLA men’s basketball players who were arrested in Hangzhou, accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near the team’s hotel.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested and questioned about the alleged theft last Tuesday, and were released on bail Wednesday morning.
ESPN reported that authorities have surveillance footage of the players stealing from three stores.
The trio remains in China, even as the rest of the UCLA men’s basketball team traveled back to the United States on Saturday. They will remain at the hotel until the legal process is completed.
A source familiar with the investigation told ESPN that the players could be required to stay in china for up to two weeks.
UCLA was in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, which the Bruins won 63-30 despite not the three arrested players not participating.
What Trump said
An anonymous U.S. official told The Washington Post that after Trump brought the situation up, Xi said he would ensure fair treatment and expeditious legal processing for the players.
The U.S. official indicated that the players’ charges have been reduced and the case is being resolved.
The case garnered additional attention because LiAngelo Ball is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, and because the timing of the arrests coincided with Trump’s visit.