US President Donald Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help in the case of three American college basketball players accused of shoplifting last week.
The three UCLA freshmen — LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — were arrested last week while their team was in Hangzhou ahead of the team’s season opener in Shanghai and while Trump was on a state visit in the capital, Beijing.
Trump’s request was first reported by the Washington Post.
Ball — who is the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball — Riley and Hill were forced to stay in their hotel and miss the game. They did not travel home with the team and are still confined to the hotel as the legal process plays outs.
Ball’s father, LaVar, said in a statement on social media that the process could take months.