Trump reportedly discussed UCLA basketball case while speaking with Xi Jinping.
President Donald Trump has allegedly asked Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to help resolve the case involving LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates, who were arrested on shoplifting charges in Hangzhou late last week, according to ESPN's Arash Markazi.
Trump reportedly brought up the issue during his meeting with Xi on Saturday in Beijing, and Xi promised that the three players would be treated fairly and expeditiously. Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were caught on camera shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end shopping center, which includes Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who is one of the richest and most powerful men in China, is also helping to get the three players cleared as quickly as possible.
The trio are currently staying at hotel in Hangzhou with a UCLA team representative, and they're required to stay there until the legal process is over, which could take several weeks.
According to Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ball, Riley and Hill might serve the "house arrest" punishment at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, the hotel where UCLA and Georgia Tech players had been staying ahead of their season-opener in Shanghai.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times notes that the players are not currently confined to the hotel, but they'll have to remain in Hangzhou while their teammates return to the States. LiAngelo Ball is the most well known of the three arrested players, but Hill and Riley are both consensus top 100 recruits who were part of a UCLA recruiting class ranked among the top five nationally.
Heading into the season, the UCLA Bruins rank 21st in the AP Top-25 Poll.