LiAngelo Ball’s career at UCLA ended after one exhibition game, an arrest in China and an indefinite suspension.
Upon his return to Los Angeles, Ball and his suspended teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill held a press conference where they offered a public apology and also thanked President Donald Trump for his role in the players’ return to the U.S.
According to Ball, that thank you to Trump only occurred because UCLA told him to include it in his speech. Ball spoke about that press conference in an appearance with LaVar Ball on The Breakfast Club. The exchange starts around the 25:45 mark.
“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.”
“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.”
When asked if he would have thanked Trump having known he was going to leave UCLA for Lithuania, LiAngelo added:
“No. 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.”
Trump had tweeted before the press conference to request an apology from the UCLA players.
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
Though LiAngelo did thank Trump, LaVar Ball refused to, which ignited a feud between the outlandish father and Trump.
LaVar Ball responds to scouts who say LiAngelo Ball isn’t good enough for the NBA pic.twitter.com/TGwbOzF3zt
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) December 6, 2017