The three disgraced UCLA rookie basketball players returned to the U.S. after they were arrested for shoplifting a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses in China.
Lonzo Ball’s brother, LiAngelo Ball, 18, Cody Riley, 19, and Jalen Hill, 17, hung their heads in shame as they returned home to Los Angeles after spending nearly two weeks on house arrest at their luxury hotel in Hangzhou, China.
The players landed at LAX airport after a 12 hour flight from Shanghai late Tuesday.
President Trump, who arrived in China a day after the arrests, spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the players’ behalf. President Xi arranged for the shoplifting charges to be dropped, and the players were transported to the airport on Monday.
It should be noted that President Trump’s visit to China was scheduled months before the UCLA team flew to Shanghai to take on Georgia Tech in the season opener.
Trump tweeted about his efforts on Wednesday.
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?They were headed for 10 years in jail!”
Others noted that the players would still be languishing in a China prison, subsisting on bread and water, if Trump had not used his influence to free them.
The Obama administration stranded 22-year-old Virginia student Otto Warmbier in a Pyongyang prison for over a year. He died a few days after the Trump administration secured his release in June.