Last Updated Nov 15, 2017 3:35 PM EST
Three University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball players apologized for sparking an international incident when they shoplifted in China and were detained by authorities.
LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley addressed the media in Los Angeles after returning from China on Wednesday. The players were released and allowed to return home after President Trump intervened on their behalf with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“What I did was stupid,” Hill said at the press conference. “There’s just no other way to put it.”
The players were detained in Hangzhou on suspicion of stealing from three stores near the hotel where they were staying after a game in Shanghai against Georgia Tech. Police placed them on house arrest and not allowed to leave their hotel.
Speaking on Wednesday, all three players thanked the U.S. government and Mr. Trump for working to secure their release. Mr. Trump, who just returned from a 12-day trip to Asia, questioned whether the players would thank him for intervening with Xi in a tweet Wednesday morning.
“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,” Riley said. Ball, whose brother is a rookie on the Los Angeles Lakers, said he “didn’t exercise my best judgment and I was wrong for that.”
Head coach Steve Alford said the players will be suspended indefinitely while the school continues a review of the incident.
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