Detained UCLA basketball players heading home from China

U.S. President Trump Visits China

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said early Tuesday that the Bruins players, detained November 7, are on a plane bound for Los Angeles, adding that the "matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities".

Trump Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has already been in touch with the families of the three players as well as university officials including UCLA coach Steve Alford.

UCLA players LiAngelo Ball - the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie star Lonzo Ball - and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were on a flight to Los Angeles, the commissioner of the Pacific-12 conference, Larry Scott, said in a statement. "Finally, we want to thank the President, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution".

The players were allowed to fly home hours after president Donald Trump discussed the situation with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Trump described Xi's response as "terrific". "And hopefully everything is going to work out", Trump said on board Air Force One, before word of the trio's return appeared.

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Since the matter did not occur on the court, it would be up to UCLA whether the players will be punished, Scott said. Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, said the case had been reported to United States 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". The Bruins played and won (63-60) without the three accused players. UCLA's next game is Wednesday against Central Arkansas.

The Washington Post reported Monday that a USA official indicated that shoplifting charges against the players have been reduced, and the case could be resolved soon.

Three UCLA players are finally on their way back home after being held in China following allegations of shoplifting, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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