Trump Responds to ‘Thank You’ from UCLA Players

November 16, 2017 Updated: November 16, 2017

President Donald Trump responded on Thursday after three UCLA players thanked him for helping secure their release from China.

“To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made … your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”, Trump wrote on Twitter.

The players had been arrested in China on suspicion of trying to steal sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store.

The three were released just days after Trump brought up the issue with China’s Xi.

The three players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, have been suspended from the basketball team indefinitely.

UCLA coach Steve Alford said during a press conference on Wednesday that the players “will have to earn their way back.”

UCLA basketball players Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill speak at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China, where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles on Nov. 15, 2017. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

“My family raised me better than that, and I’m going to make myself a better person from here on out,” Ball said during the press conference. “I’ve learned my lesson from this mistake and am 110 percent sure that I’ll not make a bad decision like this again.”

Each of the players thanked Trump for his help in securing their release.

“To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf. We really appreciate you helping us out,” said Riley.

Their thank you came hours after Trump had questioned on Twitter whether the players would express appreciation for his diplomatic effort.

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!”, Trump tweeted.

The team had been in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, which UCLA won 63-60. The teams had traveled to Hangzhou earlier in the week.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said the students were released by the Chinese police after paying $2,200 bail.

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