Trump personally asks China's Xi to help LiAngelo Ball


LETTER: The Trump-Xi Meeting in Beijing, Very Briefly

With the players stranded in China and at the mercies of the Chinese legal system, President Trump reached out to China's leader to ask him to look into the case, according to the Washington Post. They were released on bail early Wednesday morning and have been staying at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then.

Arriving the day after the players were arrested, Trump reportedly raised the players' predicament during his visit to Beijing.

Trump Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has already been in touch with the families of the three players as well as university officials including UCLA coach Steve Alford.

Besides President Trump, Jack Ma - founder of Alibaba Group and one of the most powerful men in China - has also personally spoken for the safe return of the arrested trio from China.

A source told ESPN's Arash Markazi that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores. Sources told ESPN that the three could remain in China for another week or two.

The rest of the Bruins returned to Los Angeles on Saturday from a weeklong trip that concluded in Shanghai with a 63-60 victory over Georgia Tech in the Pac-12 China Game.

According the Post report, Trump brought the issue to Xi, who promised that he would look into the matter. Three players were questioned from each team.

Ball, who is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers rising star rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and the son of the outspoken Big Baller Brand founder LaVar Ball, now remains in China with his two teammates.

The whole incident has since overshadowed the Ball family's entry into the Chinese market, as LiAngelo was supposed to accompany outspoken celebrity father LaVar during the store openings of family startup Big Baller Brand. "We will comment shortly".

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