LaVar Ball Says Trump Didn’t Help Get LiAngelo Released from Shoplifting in China

LaVar Ball said Friday that President Donald Trump didn’t play a substantial role in getting three UCLA basketball players, including his son, LiAngelo Ball, back to the United States following a shoplifting incident in China.

“Who?” Ball asked ESPN.com’s Arash Markazi. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

lavar ball
Lavar ball

Trump previously told reporters he had discussed the players’ release with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said aboard Air Force One. “What they did was unfortunate. You know, you’re talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games.

“He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now. And hopefully everything is going to work out. And I know they’re very grateful because they were told exactly what happened.”

Once LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill returned to the United States, Trump tweeted the following: “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

At a press conference Wednesday, LiAngelo Ball, Riley and Hill thanked the president for assisting in their release.

A day later, Trump added: “To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”

Ball, Riley and Hill have all been suspended indefinitely, and head coach Steve Alford said they will “have to earn their way back” after stealing from several stores near their hotel in Hangzhou, according to the Los Angeles Daily News‘ Thuc Nhi Nguyen.

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