During his trip to Beijing last week, President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help settle the case of three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting during the team’s visit to China.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, confirmed to the Washington Post in an email that President Trump “raised the matter” with Xi during their meeting.
The three freshmen Jalen Hill, Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball were arrested for stealing sunglasses from Louis Vuitton, the store next to the hotel they were staying in.
Xi promised to make sure that the players are treated expeditiously and justly. It seems that the charges are being reduced and the case will be solved soon.
One of the arrested freshmen is Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball’s brother and son of the family’s marketing manager LaVar Ball. LiAngelo Ball first started playing for the Bruins in a November 1 preseason game against Cal State-Los Angeles scoring 11 points in 111-80 win for the Bruins.
Lonzo Ball said he has a hard time handling the pressures of being an NBA rookie and the stress of his brother’s situation. He said, “I mean, it’s still my little brother, but I got to come out here and play.”
LaVar Ball called Lonzo last night to assure him they were handling things in China with LiAngelo. Lonzo said that put his mind at ease.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 11, 2017
Saturday, he proved that he is able to focus during the game, seeing how he became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double by compiling 13 assists, 12 rebounds, 19 points, 4 blocks and 3 steals in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
LaVar Ball, on the other hand, downplayed the whole situation saying “(LiAngelo) will be fine. Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”
LaVar Ball said, "I'm going to wait until I get more intel on what's going on" before he comments on LiAngelo Ball's arrest but said he's not worried. "He'll be fine," he said. "Everyone's making it a big deal. It ain't that big a deal." pic.twitter.com/E7QuMaMsNU
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 8, 2017
Bill Walton apologizes in behalf of " the entire human race" for LiAngelo Ball and his teammates stealing sunglasses in China pic.twitter.com/O7VluvbRsU
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) November 11, 2017
Bill Walton, former UCLA player and current TV analyst, said that he felt shame for the team’s game in China and apologized “on behalf of the entire human race” for their wrongdoings.
The team returned to U.S. without their three players, who could face up to 10 years in prison.
ESPN reported there is a surveillance tape of the players shoplifting from three stores.
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