UCLA basketball freshmen fly home after one-week detainment in China

UCLA basketball players arrested in China are headed home

UCLA basketball players arrested in China are headed home

Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, and LiAngelo Ball (the brother of L.A. Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball, and the son of entrepreneur LaVar Ball - who has become a favorite of ESPN and Saturday Night Live for what many see as over-the-top promotion of his sons) are headed back to the US with the matter reportedly having been resolved.

The Pac-12's experiment with games in China didn't go off without a hitch, as three members of the UCLA men's basketball team were arrested last week for allegedly shoplifting from three stores.

The players were allowed to fly home hours after president Donald Trump discussed the situation with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

If you're a basketball fan, you probably know who LiAngelo Ball is. "They [the Chinese authorities] do not play games".

The players were released on bail Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China, and reportedly did not accompany the team back to Los Angeles after UCLA's 63-60 victory over Georgia Tech.

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Trump raised the arrests during a two-day state visit to Beijing, arriving a day after the three freshmen players had been accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel.

Ball's father, LaVar, said in a statement on social media that the process could take months.

Chinese authorities told the Post that the charges have been downgraded and the case against them is on a fast track toward resolution. Trump said he was hopeful the athletes would return home soon.

The family is now filming a reality show called "Ball in the Family" and recently started an athletic apparel company, Big Baller Brand, "inspired by the Ball brothers".

An anonymous US official told The Washington Post that after Trump brought the situation up, Xi said he would ensure fair treatment and expeditious legal processing for the players.

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