UCLA Basketball Players Freed in China After Trump Intervention

By NTK Staff | 11.14.2017 @10:10am
UCLA Basketball Players Freed in China After Trump Intervention

The president personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the situation.

Last week, China arrested three UCLA basketball players on charges of shoplifting. But this morning, after President Trump’s intervention, the players are flying home, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

President Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the situation during a state visit to the country last week, and it appears the Chinese leader fulfilled his request:

UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were seen late Tuesday at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport checking into a Delta flight bound for Los Angeles, airline staff said. Their departure came after a week of tension, with the players detained by police in the eastern city Hangzhou as suspects in an investigation of suspected shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton boutique.

The players found themselves in serious legal jeopardy after Chinese authorities accused them of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. According to CNN, Ball, Hill, and Riley could have faced between three and ten years in prison for the crime.

But thanks to President Trump’s political involvement, the basketball players will return to the United States as the college basketball season tips off.

The president has made a habit of bringing home captive Americans, securing the release of American aid worker Aya Hijazi from Egypt in April, the release of captured student Otto Warmbier from North Korea, and a captive family held by the Taliban in Pakistan.

Trump has made it clear: Americans won’t be left behind anymore.

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