Trump speaks to Xi on behalf of disgraced basketballersWorld | 15 Nov 2017 12:06 pm
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had a long conversation about the three players’ status with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, (pictured), Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, were expected to have an immediate impact as part of UCLA’s highly touted recruiting class. Instead, they are being talked about solely for their actions off the court.
Ball, a guard whose brother Lonzo is a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaged 33.8 points as a high school senior. The elder Ball played one season in Westwood and left early for the NBA draft.
The Balls’ outspoken father, LaVar, was in China at the time of the incident. He spent some time promoting the family’s Big Baller Brand of athletic shoes with his youngest son, LaMelo, while his middle son was detained.
Forwards Hill and Riley, both four-star recruits, figure to bolster 7-foot senior Thomas Welsh in the frontcourt.
The Bruins traveled to China as part of the Pac-12′s global initiative that seeks to popularize the league’s athletic programs and universities overseas. The China Game is in its third year, and while the scandal was developing the league announced that California and Yale will play in next year’s edition.
The game is sponsored by Alibaba Group, that both UCLA and Georgia Tech visited before the shoplifting incident occurred.-AP