LiAngelo Ball is a freshman basketball player at UCLA.
He is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball and the son of outspoken father Lavar Ball.
LiAngelo is not expected to be the same type of talent as Lonzo (or younger brother LaMelo, for that matter), but right now he is the talk of the town.
“Gelo,” along with high-profile fellow freshman Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, were arrested for shoplifting in China while overseas with their new team.
They could have remained in the country for over one month, missing the start of the season.
Now, President Trump has intervened.
Three UCLA basketball players who were under police investigation in China board flight home after Trump intervenes https://t.co/vdlHsumxXc
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 14, 2017
From CBS Los Angeles:
Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China may be on their way back to Los Angeles.
Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were seen checking into a Delta flight bound for Los Angeles at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The development comes just hours after President Donald Trump told reporters he had a long conversation on the matter with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Before departing Manila on AF1 @POTUS on #UCLA b-ball player arrests in China:
"What they did was unfortunate. You know, you're talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games. President Xi has been terrific on that subject. But that was not a good subject."
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) November 14, 2017
The three athletes were apparently caught on video stealing from a shopping center near the team hotel.
More, per Reuters:
The three basketball players from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were detained by police on Nov. 7 in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou over allegations of shoplifting. They were not on the team’s return flight to the United States on Saturday.
A senior White House official said the players had been given relatively light treatment due to Trump’s intervention.
“It’s in large part because the president brought it up,” the official told Reuters.
More, via ESPN:
The players were questioned last week about allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins had been staying before leaving for Shanghai to face Georgia Tech on Saturday. They were released on bail early Wednesday morning and have been staying at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then.
UCLA returned to the United States on Saturday without the three freshmen, sources told Markazi. Bruins coach Steve Alford declined to discuss the matter after the team’s win over the Yellow Jackets on Friday.
When Trump talks, people listen.
Sure, he’s the most powerful man in the world and that comes with a great amount of respect from other world leaders – that’s a given.
However, 45 can be as persuasive as they come.
H/T: Right Scoop