Three UCLA basketball players are heading back to America after being arrested of shoplifting in China. As NBC News reports, freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were detained after being accused of stealing sunglasses from Louis Vuitton in Hangzhou. The young men were in China for a game against Georgia Tech.
Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12 conference, confirmed in a statement today that the three players were on a flight back to Los Angeles. "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities," he said. "We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university. We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities."
The case made international headlines, especially with Ball being the younger brother of Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball, and the fact that Donald Trump was visiting Asia. Trump said that the incident made its way into his conversations with Chinese President Xi. "I had a great conversation with President Xi," Trump said on Air Force One today. "He was terrific, and they're working on it right now. And hopefully everything is going to work out."
The details surrounding the players' arrest remains unclear. China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told The Associated Press that the three men were being investigated for alleged theft. China has hefty penalty, including lengthy jail time, for grand larceny. Just yesterday, it was reported that the legal proceedings could take months and require the players to remain in China.
The three students are scheduled to hold a news conference at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday morning.
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