The three UCLA players are heading back to LA.
Three UCLA freshman basketball players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill are allowed to return to the Unites States today after being detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting, according to James T. Areddy of the Wall Street Journal.
According to the report, the players were seen checking into a Los Angeles-bound Delta flight at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement today as well, confirming the players are on a flight back to Los Angeles.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott confirms the release of the UCLA trio arrested in China pic.twitter.com/rJcxlB7JJW— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) November 14, 2017
LiAngelo Ball and his UCLA teammates had been in China to kick off the college basketball season against Georgia Tech. However, the three freshmen were unable to travel from Hangzhou to Shanghai after surveillance cameras reportedly caught them shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end shopping center, which includes Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.
The trio had been staying at a hotel in Hangzhou with a UCLA team representative, where they were required to stay there until the legal process played out. Initial reports suggested they could be stuck in China for weeks.
The Bruins, ranked 21st in the country, picked up a win over Georgia Tech in Shanghai last Friday and flew back to the States over the weekend without Ball, Riley and Hill. Their status with the team, and whether or not they'll face suspension, remains unclear. LiAngelo is the most well known of the three 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.
Today's news that the detained players have been released comes just days after President Trump said he was hopeful they would be allowed to return home. Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday and reportedly brought up the issue during their meeting.
UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill are reportedly being allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday. https://t.co/UAV2JYvMZe— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2017