LiAngelo Ball is a younger brother of former UCLA star Lonzo Ball, who plays with the Los Angeles Lakers. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who oversees the State Department, also might have spoken about the case with Trump, the official said.
In a statement, Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott said "the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities" and thanked the efforts of President Donald Trump and his administration to help facilitate the return of freshmen LiAngleo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley.
Trump spoke to reporters in the Philippines as he prepared to return to Washington after a almost two-week visit to Asia that included an earlier stop in Beijing. "(Xi) has been terrific".
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Asked about the case Tuesday, China's foreign ministry said it had no additional comment.
"What they did was unfortunate", Trump said.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that the players had been seen boarding a plane bound for LAX. Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, said the case had been reported to U.S. authorities, saying, "China is handling this case in accordance with the law, and will guarantee the rights in accordance with the law, for those involved in this case".
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The UCLA shoplifting case has reportedly reached the highest levels of both the American and Chinese governments. The Bruins beat Georgia Tech 63-60 in their season opener in Shanghai on Saturday. UCLA is scheduled to host Central Arkansas Wednesday at Pauley Pavilion. During the questioning, Ball, Hill and Riley were accompanied by interpreters and UCLA team representatives, according to ESPN.
They did not fly home with the team, and ESPN has reported that authorities have surveillance footage and that the players could be required to remain in Hangzhou for a week or two.
Share this article: LiAngelo Ball is one of three UCLA basketball team players being held in a suspected shoplifting investigation in China.
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