Trump asked for Xi's help in UCLA players' shoplifting case in China

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The case of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting has officially caught the eye of President Donald Trump, who personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case, according to the Washington Post.

Trump talked to Xi about the arrests during a state visit last week to Beijing, part of the president's five-nation Asian trip, The Washington Post reported.

Trump Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has already been in touch with the families of the three players as well as university officials including UCLA coach Steve Alford.

Trump arrived in China on a diplomatic visit one day after the UCLA players were arrested.

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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.

A source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told ESPN that the three players could be in Hangzhou for "a week or two". ESPN reported last Friday that police have surveillance footage of the trio committing the crimes in three stores in the high-end shopping center.

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

In the meantime, the ball players will likely remain in a hotel in Hangzhou for at least another week.

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Ball, who is the brother of Los Angeles Lakers rising star rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and the son of the outspoken Big Baller Brand founder LaVar Ball, now remains in China with his two teammates.

LaVar Ball later released a statement about the allegations against LiAngelo: "It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time".

The Ball patriarch has since been unnaturally silent during the whole ordeal, but did comment on Twitter that "It ain't that big a deal".

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