Detained UCLA basketball players heading home from China

Detained UCLA basketball players heading home from China

The case garnered additional attention because LiAngelo Ball is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, and because the timing of the arrests coincided with Trump's visit.

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". The Bruins played and won (63-60) without the three accused players.

Trump had raised the issue with Xi at a dinner held during the US leader's November 8-10 state visit to Beijing.

Per Chinese law, the three players could face significant prison sentences of three to 10 years if convicted of grand larceny. They will not take questions from the media, AP reported.

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In a statement, Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott said "the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities" and thanked the efforts of President Donald Trump and his administration to help facilitate the return of freshmen LiAngleo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley. "What they did was unfortunate. They (the Chinese authorities) do not play games".

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that the players had been seen boarding a plane bound for LAX.

According to ESPN, they were nabbed on suspicion of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store and later freed on bail but ordered to remain in Hangzhou. "And hopefully everything is going to work out", Trump said on board Air Force One, before word of the trio's return appeared. During the questioning, Ball, Hill and Riley were accompanied by interpreters and UCLA team representatives, according to ESPN.

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. He shared tweets from the trip prior to the arrest.

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