Donald Trump asks Chinese president to help in UCLA case

President Tran Dai Quang receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Font Size

President Tran Dai Quang receives Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Font Size

Trump raised the issue during his meeting with Xi on Saturday in Beijing, the source told ESPN.

The players involved are Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. Theft of this nature is taken much more harshly in China than it is in the United States, and these players are finding that out the hard way. Trump lamented that the U.S.is "so far behind" China, while Xi simply noted that the Pacific has room for both countries.

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While touring various stops in Asia, Trump met with China President, Xi Jinping, and he reportedly addressed the UCLA basketball players with his Chinese counterpart. After Trump's entreaties, Jinping reportedly said he would look into it and make sure the players were treated fairly and expeditiously.

That may have led to some legal help too. The source also said there is surveillance video that shows the players allegedly shoplifting from three stores.

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Chief of Staff John Kelly has been in touch with the families of the players and spoken with UCLA coach Steve Alford, and Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, the official told the paper. All are expected to remain in Hangzhou, where local police have them under a type of house arrest at the hotel where UCLA was staying before their game against Georgia Tech.

The good news is that everything seems to be working towards a resolution. Neither made any mention of the UCLA players' arrests.

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LiAngelo Ball declined to comment when reached by phone at his hotel on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

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