Trump asked Xi to resolve Ball arrest

LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players reportedly had shoplifting charges reduced

UCLA basketball players visiting China got into a bit of a legal issue while visiting the country, and now President Donald Trump is stepping in with the hope of coming to a resolution to free the Bruins from being prevented from coming home.

President Trump personally asked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for help in dealing with the three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Last week, the trio were arrested for stealing sunglasses from Louis Vuitton and then it was later revealed they stole from Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores as well.

After Trump raised the matter, Xi promised to look into the case and ensure that the players are treated fairly and expeditiously, said a USA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has reportedly served as an intermediary between UCLA and Chinese officials in the hopes of bringing the players back to the United States quickly.

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Sources told the Post charges against the players have already been reduced and a resolution is expected shortly.

The players involved are Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

The State Department typically takes the lead on cases involving USA citizens who are arrested overseas, the Post reported. Also, they will not be allowed to visit China again.

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