UCLA Basketball Players Arrested in China Return Home


Three UCLA basketball players who were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting while on a tour of China last week arrived home in the United States on Tuesday.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, who were detained in Hangzhou, about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, on Nov. 7, said nothing as reporters swarmed them upon their arrival at Los Angeles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon.

Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12 conference, said in a statement Tuesday that “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

“We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university,” he said. “We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities.”

News of their release was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The men are scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.

Their arrest happened a day before President Donald Trump arrived in China during a nearly two-week visit to Asia. Trump told reporters Tuesday he discussed the basketball players’ fate during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and said that their departure for the U.S. was in the works.

Related: Three UCLA Basketball Players Arrested in China on Suspicion of Shoplifting

“I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said aboard Air Force One on the first leg of his trip back to the United States. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now. And hopefully everything is going to work out.”

The details surrounding the players’ arrest are unclear. China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told The Associated Press on Monday that the three men were being investigated for alleged theft and that China and the U.S. were in contact about the matter.

Image: FILE PHOTO:  High School Basketball: Chino Hills at Rancho Cucamonga

Chino Hills guard LiAngelo Ball against the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars at Rancho Cucamonga High School.