During his two-day visit to China last week, President Donald Trump personally asked Chinese president Xi Jinping to help resolve the case of three UCLA basketball players who are accused of shoplifting and being detained in Hangzhou, sources told David Nakamura of the Washington Post.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested on Nov. 7. The incident was reportedly caught on surveillance.
They were released on bail the following day, but have been detained at the team's hotel ever since, amidst an investigation into the incident. The players missed the Bruins' game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, and stayed behind when the team flew back to Los Angeles. As of Friday night, reports suggested the three freshmen could be held in Hangzhou for another week or two.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in an email to the Post that Trump indeed raised the issue during his meeting with Xi, Nakamura reports.
The Chinese president was receptive to Trump's request and promised to ensure the players received fair treatment and an expeditious resolution, an anonymous U.S. official told Nakamura.