The UCLA basketball star who was arrested in China for shoplifting now claims he was ordered to “thank President Trump” by school officials, adding he never would have expressed his gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief had the university not “told him to do it.”
LiAngelo Ball and two other college basketball players were detained by Chinese police, and subsequently released following President Trump’s intervention. Upon their arrival in the United States, the trio thanked the President for securing their freedom.
the university “told him to do it”
Ball now reveals his gratitude was anything but genuine, telling sports website ForTheWin that he was instructed to thank the President after the Commander-in-Chief mentioned the international spat on social media.
“They wanted to hear that, and he tweeted about it before my speech so I had to add it in there right before I gave it,” said LiAngelo.
“My school wanted to hear it too. Before I went up there, it’s like, ‘You gotta thank him.’ I just threw him in there real quick before I gave my speech,” he added. “If they didn’t want me to do it. If they didn’t tell me to do it, it wouldn’t have been in there, to be honest.”
LiAngelo’s father, LaVar Ball, raised eyebrows across the country last month, refusing to thank President Trump for his son’s release during a bizarre interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“What did Trump ever do to help me?” asked Ball.