Donald Trump spoke to Chinese president about UCLA basketball players


The Bruins beat Georgia Tech 63-60 in their season opener in Shanghai on Saturday.

UCLA's trip coincided with Trump's two-day state visit to the Chinese capital, Beijing, as part of his 13-day trip to Asia.

Players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley have remained in China while the rest of the team has flown home to Los Angeles. The athletes were unable to play in the game, and they remain in China awaiting their fate while the rest of their team returned to the US days ago.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who had not spoken with the three players, said what had occurred was a "very regrettable situation".

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said early Tuesday that the Bruins players, detained November 7, are on a plane bound for Los Angeles, adding that the "matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities".

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And it did "work out" after Trump intervened on the players' behalf, speaking directly to Chinese President XI Jinping.

"I had a great conversation with President Xi", Trump said.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement Tuesday that the university's Athletics and Office of Student Conduct would review the incident and determine any potential discipline. "Such proceedings are confidential, which limits the specific information that can be shared".

"The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities" and the trio were allowed to leave Hangzhou, where they were detained a week ago, Scott said. The elder Ball played one season in Westwood and left early for the National Basketball Association draft.

If the three Bruins are going to be detained in China for another two weeks, they could miss up to five games before they get back on USA soil, missing contests against Central Arkansas, South Carolina State, Creighton, Baylor/Wisconsin and UC Irvine. LaVar Ball and his youngest son, LaMelo, are expected to be in Hong Kong Tuesday evening to promote a pop-up shop for the family's athletic apparel line, Big Baller Brand.