Donald Trump Says LiAngelo Ball, UCLA Players Were Headed for 10 Years in Jail

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2017

U.S.US President Donald Trump (R), accompanied by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, arrives to 
The US president was in the Philippines with leaders of 18 other nations for two days of summits, the final leg of a headline-grabbing Asian tour dominated by the North Korean nuclear crisis.  / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Bullit Marquez        (Photo credit should read BULLIT MARQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
BULLIT MARQUEZ/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA basketball teammates were in line for 10-year jail sentences in China before he intervened.

Regarding the situation, Trump tweeted, "Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!"

Arash Markazi of ESPN contradicted that statement, saying he spoke to multiple sources who said the players faced one- to two-week sentences.

Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday after being detained in China for allegedly shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China, according to ESPN.com.

Ball, Riley and Hill were in China with the rest of the UCLA basketball team for a game against Georgia Tech, which the Bruins won, 63-60.

The three players did not play in the game, however, and they did not return home with the rest of the team, as they were placed under house arrest at a hotel during the legal process.

Trump said Tuesday that he reached out to Chinese President Xi Jinping to expedite the proceedings.

Per David Nakamura and Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, an anonymous U.S. official said the players were given reduced charges.

According to China Law Translate, theft in China could result in up to 10-12 years in prison if the items in question are worth $45,000 or more.

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