UCLA Basketball Players Freed By China After Trump Intervenes

David Hookstead | Contributor

LiAngelo Ball and his two UCLA basketball teammates were freed from Chinese custody early Tuesday after President Donald Trump intervened on their behalf.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill had all boarding a Delta flight home after being detained for over a week. They slipped out of possibly serving up to ten years for allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China.

Trump spoke directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the players during his trip to Asia, and now they’re out less than 24 hours later.

I previously wrote that this was a situation where Trump could stand to get a huge win. It would cost him essentially nothing to get Ball and his teammates out of Chinese custody, and it would look like he used his great negotiating tactics to cut a deal. It seems like that might be exactly what happened.

It also doesn’t hurt Trump that LaVar Ball loves sharing his opinions and is routinely on television. You can probably expect some really positive comments from the head of the Ball family. It looks like Trump played this situation perfectly.

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David Hookstead

Contributor

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