Trump tells UCLA players to thank Chinese President for release

President Trump said his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, deserves a special thanks for releasing three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting.

The tough-talking commander-in-chief also gave a warm wish and some life advice to the recently freed athletes.

“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 in a pair of tweets Thursday morning.

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley all thanked Trump on Wednesday for rushing along their release.

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UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting in China
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UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting in China
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball arrives at LAX after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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, California U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball (R) and Cody Riley arrive at LAX after flying back from China where they were detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball player Cody Riley speaks at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball listens at a press conference at UCLA after flying back from China where he was detained on suspicion of shoplifting, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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, California U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Jalen Hill of the UCLA Men's Baskeball speaks to the media during a press conference at Pauley Pavilion on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hill and two teammates have been suspended from the team after allegedly shoplifting while on a school trip to China. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Cody Riley of the UCLA Men's Baskeball team speaks to the media during a press conference at Pauley Pavilion on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Riley and two teammates have been suspended from the team after allegedly shoplifting while on a school trip to China. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
LaVar Ball (L), father of basketball player LiAngelo Ball and the owner of the Big Baller brand, sits with his other son LaMelo Ball during a promotional event in Hong Kong on November 14, 2017. UCLA players LiAngelo Ball -- the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie star Lonzo Ball -- and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested on November 7 in Hangzhou ahead of their regular-season-opening game against Georgia Tech in nearby Shanghai this past weekend. ESPN reported that they were nabbed on suspicion of stealing from a Louis Vuitton store and later freed on bail but ordered to remain in Hangzhou. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley (L) of the UCLA Men's Baskeball team speak to the media during a press conference at Pauley Pavilion on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Ball, Riley and Jalen Hill have been suspended from the team after allegedly shoplifting while on a school trip to China. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 22: LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball pose for a portrait with Lonzo Ball after being drafted number two overall to the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The President asked Xi about their release during his visit to China last week, and they returned stateside Tuesday night.

Trump previously nudged the sticky fingered athletes into making a public thanks.

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

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly later told the New York times their charges were reduced to misdemeanors.

ESPN previously reported the three were captured lifting from three separate stores during their trip to China. They spent nearly a week in custody.

All three were suspended by UCLA upon their return to the U.S.

“They will have to earn their way back,” UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford said.

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