Trump on UCLA players: 'I should have left them in jail!'

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

But Ball's father LaVar Ball, a brash media personality known for outspoken advocacy of his three basketball playing sons, minimised the president's role in an interview Friday with sports network ESPN. However, they were ultimately held under hotel arrest for a few days before returning to the United States.

"I would like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help they provided as well", said Ball.

Ball's son, LiAngelo, along with two other members of the UCLA basketball team, were arrested on November 7 for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store, and detained in China for questioning.

During a Wednesday press conference, the teenage players, themselves, issued apologies for their behavior and thanked everyone involved for helping to resolve the matter and bringing them home, including President Trump.

LaVar Ball, who has made a name for himself as a professional talker while attempting to build a brand around his three basketball playing sons, was in China during the week-long incident.

"What was he over there for? Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out", Ball told ESPN. Don't tell me nothing.

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LaVar Ball attends week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

"As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine", he said.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said the players had stolen items from three stores when students were given 90 minutes of free time to explore the city and relax. 'I'm happy with how things were handled.

"Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that's a different thing".

"Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes, '" Ball told ESPN.

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