LiAngelo Ball, 2 UCLA teammates remain in China as team heads home

On his recent two-day visit to Beijing, president Donald Trump reportedly asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to help bring a resolution to the case of three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for allegedly shoplifting last week in Hangzhou.

Initial reports suggested the players could remain in China for up to two months, depending on whether Chinese authorities made a decision to pursue an arrest, which would spark an investigation. A Bruins representative is staying with the players, and Ball's brother, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, said their father, Lavar, is remaining in China as well.

According to Nakamura, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to him via email that Trump personally reached out to Jinping. The players were arrested last week and charged with shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store located next to the team's hotel.

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Following the Bruins' season-opening 63-60 win over Georgia Tech in Shanghai, the UCLA team returned to the United States on Saturday without the three freshmen, according to ESPN. The athletes were unable to play in the game, and they remain in China awaiting their fate while the rest of their team returned to the US days ago.

A USA official told the Washington Post that Xi promised Trump he would look into the case and make sure the players would be treated fairly.

If the charges have been downgraded, that would be good news, indeed, for the three accused players. The players were also not permitted to fly home with the team. LiAngelo Ball's family is in Hong Kong marketing $495 Big Baller Brand shoes, according to a tweet from LaVar Ball.

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