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Basketball: Arrested UCLA players returning from China

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - 

Three American college basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting are returning home, a league official said Tuesday, after President Donald Trump intervened on their behalf.

UCLA players LiAngelo Ball -- the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie star Lonzo Ball -- and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were on a flight to Los Angeles, the commissioner of the Pacific-12 conference, Larry Scott, said in a statement.

"The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities" and the trio were allowed to leave Hangzhou, where they were detained a week ago, Scott said.

"We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university," he added.

Trump said he personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene on behalf of the three players during his two-day state visit to Beijing last week.

In his statement, Scott thanked Trump and the State Department for their assistance in resolving the case.

Ball, Riley and Hill were arrested in Hangzhou ahead of a scheduled game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

According to ESPN, they were nabbed on suspicion of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store and later freed on bail but ordered to remain in Hangzhou.

© 2017 AFP