UCLA basketball players thanked President Trump for “helping us out,” after a Twitter nudge from the commander-in-chief who worked to get China to drop shoplifting charges against them.
“I would like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they’ve provided as well,” LiAngelo Ball said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
“To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf,” another player, Cody Riley, said. “We really appreciate you helping us out.”
“Thank you to the United States government and President Trump for your efforts to bring us home,” the third player, Jalen Hill, said.
But earlier in the day, Trump was apparently hearing crickets from the trio and asked where was the gratitude.
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” the president tweeted.
The three players were arrested after being accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou.
During his visit to Bejing last week, Fox News confirmed that Trump personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, the leader of the western U.S. collegiate athletic conference, said that the matter had “been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”
The three players arrived at Los Angeles International airport late Tuesday afternoon, while the rest of the team returned to the U.S. on Saturday.
Scott thanked Trump, the White House and the State Department for their efforts in resolving the incident, indicating that UCLA made “significant efforts,” as well, on behalf of its three players.
The team was playing their season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, and won the game 63-60.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.