According to several reports, the three players were arrested earlier this week for allegedly shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store near the team's hotel in Hangzhou.More news: Veterans Day weekend highlights National Football League protests
UCLA defeated Georgia Tech 63-60 in China on Friday without the three players, a group that also includes freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley. Theft of this nature is taken much more harshly in China than it is in the United States, and these players are finding that out the hard way. Xi said he wanted to be sure that the three UCLA players are to be treated fairly and expeditiously, as said by a US official who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the situation.
That may have led to some legal help too. Charges against the players have been reduced and the case is proceeding toward a resolution, the official told the Washington Post. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump and Xi talked about the case. Since then, the trio is being required by local police to stay at the Hangzhou hotel until the legal process is complete. The source told ESPN there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end retail center. Neither made any mention of the UCLA players' arrests. He reportedly said that his son's arrest was "not a big deal". UCLA is one of the top basketball programs in the country, and the Ball family has become well known in the sports world, including LiAngelo's outspoken father, LaVar Ball.