UCLA players arrested in China returning to U.S.

By Allen Cone  |  Nov. 14, 2017 at 1:49 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting are headed back to the United States, officials said Tuesday.

The Pacific-12 conference, in a statement Tuesday, said the matter has been resolved.

"We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university."

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were detained last week after allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near the team's hotel in Hangzhou. The Bruins had been staying there before leaving for Shanghai to play Georgia Tech Saturday.

Last week, the players were released on bail and had been under house arrest at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then.

UCLA returned to Los Angeles last weekend without the three freshmen. UCLA plays its home opener against Central Arkansas Wednesday. UCLA hasn't said whether the three players involved in the arrest will suit up.

Trump, while visiting Beijing as part of a five-nation Asia tour, personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case.

"They're working on it right now," Trump told reporters in the Philippines. "[Xi has] been terrific."

"We want to thank the president, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution," the Pac-12 said.

"We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities."

The conference typically schedules a game in China to start each season, as part of an effort to expand its brand globally.

In China, theft of property worth more than $380 usually merits jail time -- and theft between $1,050 and $1,510 could mean years in jail.

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