The case of three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting sunglasses in China has taken on geopolitical significance, so much so that the president of the United States himself has gotten involved. The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the case during his two-day visit to Beijing last week, part of Trump's 12-day, five-country tour of Asia. Trump arrived in China the day after freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou. A US official said Xi promised to consider the case himself and to make sure the men were treated fairly. He also said the charges against the students had been reduced.
Hill, Riley, and Ball, the brother of newly minted NBA star Lonzo Ball, were released on bail last Wednesday and have been staying at a hotel ever since. They missed UCLA's win over Georgia Tech Saturday and didn't fly home with the team, CBS Sports reports. Complicating matters is a report that the three men didn't only steal from Louis Vuitton. A source says police have surveillance footage of them shoplifting from three stores in a high-end shopping center. The source says the men could be kept in Hangzhou for "a week or two." (Read more UCLA stories.)