Regardless of your opinion of him, President Trump accomplished what UCLA and the PAC 12 failed to do and arranged for the release of the Hangzhou Three (LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley):
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.
The players were very lucky that their case became such high profile and a fortuitous trip by the President of the United States. Obviously, the Chinese considered them an easy goodwill gesture to President Trump and the United States in light of ongoing negotiations on trade and North Korea.
Again, President Trump deserves, at least, some credit for helping to obtain their release and now the attention focuses squarely on Athletic Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block, who were both of the trip. What are they going to do with the Hangzhou Three as far as basketball and even attending UCLA.
Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott has issued a statement. Scott stated:
The three UCLA men's basketball student-athletes involved in the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China are on a flight back home to Los Angeles, and the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities. We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university.
We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities. We also want to acknowledge UCLA's significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes. Finally, we want to thank the President, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution. [emphasis added]
UPDATED: There will be a press conference tomorrow at 11am for Hangzhou Three.
Editor’s Note: Bruins Nation has a long-standing Community Guideline prohibiting “Comments that bring politics, or other highly inflammatory non-UCLA related topics, onto Bruins Nation (which is a non-political blog).” Until now, UCLA Athletics has never caused an international incident such as this. Because the President’s action is relevant to the ongoing situation involving three Bruin athletes, an editorial decision has been made to report this news as well as allow a high-level discussion of the actions which the President of the United States has taken on behalf of the Bruins involved. That said, the moderators will allow a discussion of the President’s action, provided that the discussion does not sink to an emotional argument. The moderators will employ a VERY SHORT leash and will hide any and all comments deemed to be inflammatory or intending to incite a verbal fight in the comments. Under these special circumstances, we will only issue one strike to any member who crosses the line. However, anyone who does receive a strike may lose the ability to comment further on this article, at the sole discretion of the moderators. Our goal is to encourage a constructive conversation here about the Hangzhou Incident and will act in the best interest of a constructive conversation. For those who may still be unclear, here are examples of acceptable and unacceptable comments. "I'm glad the President stepped in to help." would be ok. "It's about time Drumpf did something good." would NOT be ok. This is meant as a guide to help you keep the conversation constructive and not argumentative.