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Trump asks if UCLA players accused of shoplifting in China will say thank you for his help

President Trump and LiAngelo Ball. (Left: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Right: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Three UCLA basketball players are home after being held in China on accusations of shoplifting and now President Donald Trump is wondering if they will thank him for the role he played in bringing them back.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning with the following question regarding the return of the UCLA freshmen.

"Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump," he asked. "They were headed for 10 years in jail!"

Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers' rookie Lonzo Ball and son of the outspoken LaVar Ball were all accused of being involved in a shoplifting incident in Hangzhou during the week leading up to the Bruins' game against Georgia Tech on Friday.

They were all sat for the game by head coach Steve Alford and detained in China while authorities investigated the incident. On Tuesday, Trump said he had discussed the incident with Chinese president Xi Jinping and asked for his help to resolve the issue.

Later that same day, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities," according to the Associated Press.

Riley, Hill and Ball all thanked the President during a public apology on Wednesday.

"This does not define who I am," LiAngelo said. "My family raised me better than that."

Head coach Steve Alford announced that all three players are suspended indefinitely during that same press event. Watch it here.

"President Xi has been terrific on that subject, but that was not a good subject," Trump told ABC News. "That was not something that should have happened."

On Tuesday evening, all three players were back in Los Angeles.



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