For the past week, UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have been detained in China for suspicion of shoplifting.
ESPN reported that the UCLA players have been let go and are returning to the United States. They are scheduled to arrive late Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport staff told the Wall Street Journal that they saw the players checking into a Los Angeles-bound Delta flight and reported they were heading back to the U.S.
Delta’s flight tracker currently shows that two planes have departed from Shanghai and both are scheduled to arrive to the Los Angeles International Airport around 5 p.m. PT.
Their return was scheduled hours after President Donald Trump said he was hopeful that they would be allowed to return home after he had a conversation with China’s president, Xi Jinping.
“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,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.
The players were detained on suspicion of allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store that was next to their hotel in Hangzhou.
A source reported that there is surveillance of the players shoplifting from high-end shopping center, which had Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.
UCLA returned from Shanghai on Saturday without the three players. Bruins coach Steve Alford declined discussing the matter when he was questions about the three players.
UCLA’s home opener against Central Arkansas is scheduled for Wednesday night. It is unknown whether or not the three freshmen players will be attending that game.