LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players reportedly flying back from China
The shoplifting case involving three UCLA basketball players in China appears to have reached some sort of resolution, as the three freshman were reportedly flying back to the United States on Tuesday.
According to James T. Areddy of the Wall Street Journal, the three UCLA players — LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley — were spotted late Tuesday at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai checking in for a Delta flight that was bound for Los Angeles. That came hours after U.S. president Donald Trump said he had spoken with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, and had a “great conversation” about the incident. Trump told reporters that Ball, Hill and Riley were facing long jail sentences but said Xi “has been terrific on that subject.”
The three players were arrested last Tuesday after surveillance footage reportedly proved that they had stolen items from three high-end stores at a shopping center in Hangzhou. Shoplifting is a serious offense in China and can result in up to 10 years in prison.
While it sounds like the UCLA freshmen are going to get off with a slap on the wrist, the incident has been a major embarrassment for the players, their families and the university. UCLA legend Bill Walton already ripped the players on national television, and they are sure to face plenty more criticism when they arrive home.