3 UCLA Basketball Players Depart China for U.S. After Trump Talks to Xi Jinping

FILE – At left, in a March 10, 2016, file photo, Aransas Pass high school basketball player Jalen Hill is shown during a state semifinal basketball game in San Antonio. At center, in a Jan. 16, 2017, file photo, Sierra Canyon’s Cody Riley is shown during a high school basketball game in Springfield, Mass. At right, in a Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, LiAngelo Ball is shown in Los Angeles. Citing a person close to the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China. UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford will sit the three players for Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. (AP Photo/File)

Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting are on a plane back to Los Angeles.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were detained in Hangzhou for questioning following allegations of shoplifting last week before the 23rd-ranked Bruins beat Georgia Tech in their season-opening game in Shanghai as part of the annual Pac-12 China game. Ball is the brother of LA Lakers guard Lonzo Ball.

The rest of the UCLA team returned to Los Angeles last Saturday without the three.

There was no immediate word from UCLA on the players’ status for the team’s home opener Wednesday night against Central Arkansas.

The school said the three players, along with coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero, will make their first public comments about the matter on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, but won’t take questions.

A person with knowledge of the Pac-12’s decision said any discipline involving the players would be up to UCLA. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference doesn’t plan any sanctions.

Scott thanked President Donald Trump, the White House and the State Department for their efforts in resolving what he called “the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China.” He indicated that UCLA made “significant efforts” on behalf of its three players.

Trump said Tuesday he had a long conversation about the three players’ status with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

SOURCE: The Associated Press