UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill spoke to the media for the first time since returning to the United States a week after being arrested for shoplifting from three different high end stores in China last week. All three players thanked President Donald Trump, who had tweeted early this morning asking whether the players would thank him for releasing them from detention.
LiAngelo Ball “I would also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided ”
Jalen Hill: “Thank you to the United States government and President Trump for your efforts to bring us home.”
Cody Riley: “To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf,,”
During the press conference, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero explained exactly what went down in China.
“the students were given 90 minutes of free time. At that time, they took items from three of the stores without paying for them. And took those items to the team hotel.”
Head coach Steve Alford said the three players will remain suspended indefinitely and will not travel or be part of the team in practice for the duration of their suspension.
All in all the players got off with a slap on the wrist when things could gone much worse for them. It will be interesting to see how long UCLA intends to keep the players suspended but I’m willing to bet that it won’t be long.