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UCLA basketball players speak publicly for the first time since returning home from Chinese jail

Each player made point to thank Trump
UCLA basketball players speak publicly for the first time since returning home from Chinese jail
Posted at 12:22 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 14:16:55-05

During a press conference on Wednesday, three UCLA basketball players apologized for their actions after being arrested for shoplifting while on a team trip to China.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill all each made a point to thank the United States government and President Trump, who reportedly intervened on their behalf. Prior to Wednesday's press conference, Trump publicly asked on Twitter whether the players would thank him for helping bring them home.

Trump tweeted: "Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!"

Ball, Riley and Hill -- were arrested last week and accused of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store near the team's hotel in Hangzhou. The Bruins were in China to play against Georgia Tech.

Trump, who was in the midst of a nearly two-week Asia trip, arrived days after the arrests to meet with Chinese President Xi. Trump said he discussed the players' detention during his meeting with Xi, and it was reported the conversation played a role in the players' release.

The three players were allowed to return home and arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday night.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott thanked Trump and Chinese authorities for their role in the process.

"We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities," Scott said. "We also want to acknowledge UCLA's significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes. Finally, we want to thank the president, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution."


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