LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players reportedly had shoplifting charges reduced
The three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting in China last week remained in the country as of Monday, but their case could be nearing a resolution.
David Nakamura of the Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has personally asked Chinese president Xi Jinping for help resolving the case. The three UCLA freshmen were arrested the day before Trump arrived in Beijing for a two-day stay, and the U.S. president was reportedly assured that Xi will personally look into the case and make sure it is resolved fairly and in a timely fashion.
One U.S. official told Nakamura that the charges against the three players — LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — have already been reduced.
The latest reports indicate that surveillance footage proves Ball, Riley and Hill stole from three stores inside a shopping center in Hangzhou. The situation was taken seriously enough that the players were prohibited from flying back to the U.S. with the UCLA team, and they have been placed under a version of house arrest at their hotel.
If nothing else, the shoplifting incident will end up being a huge 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 return home.