Saturday, November 18

Trump asks Chinese president to help resolve UCLA basketball arrests


LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball freshmen were arrested in China last week. Their arrests coincided with President Donald Trump’s five-nation trip in Asia. Trump met with China’s president to discuss the arrests. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball freshmen were arrested in China last week. Their arrests coincided with President Donald Trump’s five-nation trip in Asia. Trump met with China’s president to discuss the arrests. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)


President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help settle the case of the three UCLA men’s basketball players arrested last week in Hangzhou, China, the Washington Post reported Monday morning.

Xi assured Trump that the players would be treated fairly and expeditiously, the Post reported, after the U.S. president brought up the topic in a Saturday meeting with Xi in Beijing.

The three Bruins – freshman guard LiAngelo Ball, and freshman forwards Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store adjacent to the team’s hotel, ESPN reported.

Ball, Riley and Hill were released on bail Wednesday but are reportedly confined to their hotel in Hangzhou.

ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores, though the video itself has not yet been made public.

UCLA has declined to comment beyond its initial statement released Wednesday, in which the university said it was aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou and was cooperating fully with local authorities.

Coach Steve Alford also declined to comment on the arrests after UCLA’s 63-60 victory over Georgia Tech in Shanghai this weekend.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit
Senior Staff

Matt Cummings is a senior staff writer covering UCLA football and basketball. In the past, he has covered baseball, cross country, women's volleyball and men's tennis. He served as an assistant sports editor last year. Follow him on Twitter @mbcummings15.


Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • missinger

    Treat them like the criminals they are This is not shoplifting it is robbery and conspiracy multiple country It should be under chinese law about 12 years… You can take the punk out of the hood but you cannot that the hood our of the punk

    • jwood15

      Robbery? There was no force here. Read up a bit before commenting.

      • missinger

        If you decide to steal something like say you decide to rob a store and you notice the clerk is distracted and you steal that is robbery..

        • jwood15

          And you prove that how? They will not be charged with robbery

          • jwood15

            Shoplifting: (1) willfully taking possession of or concealing unpurchased goods that are offered for sale (2) with the intention of converting the merchandise to the taker’s personal use without paying the purchase price.

        • missinger

          In this case the items were worth thousands…but it is also conspiracy… Say you take an empty shopping bag into a store and hide something in it

          • jwood15

            So much for conspiracy and robbery…. See ya in LA

          • missinger

            So you think this was some minor crime that society has to put up with because the black people think since their relatives were slaves they are owed something

          • jwood15

            LOL wow that escalated fast. All I said is it was not robbery. Charges were dropped and the students allowed to leave China, not deported. If robbery were the charge they would not be leaving the country. So ya I’d say that it was a minor crime, so much so that charges were dropped. Nobody is owed anything. Stop jumping to conclusions. And don’t bring race into this.

          • missinger

            In your mind if a black robs that is OK What about his father can we go to his store and steal 450 dollar tennis shoes

          • jwood15

            ????? I never condoned stealing nor said it was ok, I said you were over reacting and you clearly still are

          • missinger

            Look these so called athletes conspired to steal from many stores and have stolen before.. They get caught and expect the president to get them out of the situation they created.this country owes them nothing

          • jwood15

            Stolen before? Where is your proof of this? No one forced your country to let them go.

          • missinger

            Will they be greeted by thousands welcoming them home

          • jwood15

            No

      • Tina Teeny

        You are thinking U.S.A. law. Now wake up, and realize this happened in China. NOW…think China’s law. Your legal logic, is not China law.

        • jwood15

          I never saw any Chinese official state that this was a case of robbery, only shoplifting, thus why they are on their way home. Thanks though Tina. Keep studying Chinese law

  • slvrsurfer22

    They are already ready flying home. The question is are they still members of the UCLA team?

    • jwood15

      Depends on the details surrounding the incident. I dont see how they dont at least miss half the season. The low end – 15 games, the high end – see ya, go play down the road at U$C

  • Suzanne Boesing

    It’s been reported there is video evidence that they shoplifted at 3 high end stores ,all near each other. This was not a stupid lark. I’m sure they were made aware to watch their P’s & Q’s while in China. For the President to pull a favor for their release ,no punishment is outrageous. I’m sure we’ll owe a much more serious one in return. At the very least ,they should lose their scholership and be removed from the team. 20 police officers don’t show up for nothing to a store after employee’s saw the video of their theft . The items were found on their person.John Kelley had the charges reduced. It was entitlement behavior ,huge embarrassment to the team , the school and the country. His father’s behavior and comments were even more disgusting.

    • jwood15

      So many flaws in this post, I don’t even know where to start….