Trump asked Chinese leader to help resolve case involving UCLA basketball players

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte

Trump was in the Philippines capital for a summit of Asian leaders.

The Washington Post reported Monday that a US official indicated that shoplifting charges against the players have been reduced, and the case could be resolved soon.

"Hopefully, everything is going to work out, and I know they're very grateful because they were told exactly what happened", he said.

"I'm certainly disappointed that we don't have three UCLA students here to compete in the game today, given that they were involved in an incident that's being investigated in Hangzhou", Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Saturday before the game. Athletic director Dan Guerrero was not made available for comment.

The three players remained in Hangzhou during the team's season-opening win against Georgia Tech in Shanghai and did not fly home with the team.

Ball, Riley and Hill were wearing Bruins workout gear as they exited the hotel health club Monday and lumbered toward the elevators.

They were seen walking from health club at the Hyatt Regency in Hangzhou with UCLA associate AD Chris Carlson accompanying them. Ball wore brown headphones draped around his neck.

But Ball - who is the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball - Riley and Hill missed the game as they were confined to their hotel as the legal process plays outs.

Wetzel initially reported that the players may face 3-10 years imprisonment for shoplifting, but according to the China Law Translate, the penalties for shoplifting "can vary greatly".

The elder Ball has become a media personality by aggressively promoting his sons as future National Basketball Association superstars and travelled to China on the trip to promote his Big Baller Brand shoe and apparel line.

The UCLA players are suspected of stealing from a Louis Vuitton outlet around the corner from the hotel, where some sunglasses go for $740.

Shoplifting can bring jail time in China depending on the value of the goods.

Before the game in Shanghai on Saturday, the Pac-12 announced that next year's China Game would be a matchup between Cal and Yale; Alibaba extended its sponsorship of the game through 2020. He referred further inquiries to UCLA.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Times correspondent Jessica Meyers contributed to this article from Beijing.



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