UCLA has since suspended the three players indefinitely following their arrests in China, but Ball's father, LaVar Ball, pulled his athlete son out of the university.
The elder Ball has declined to credit Trump with helping to free his son, but did send three pairs of sneakers — one red, one white and one blue — from his Big Baller Brand apparel line to the White House.
By playing down Trump's role in LiAngelo Ball's release, LaVar Ball prompted a heated response from the president on Twitter.
"It wasn't the White House, it wasn't the State Department, it wasn't father LaVar's so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME," Trump tweeted on Nov. 22. "Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man's version of Don King, but without the hair."
LiAngelo Ball and his younger brother LaMelo Ball have since signed a one-year deal to play overseas with the Lithuanian basketball club Prienu Vytautas.
When asked if he would have still apologized having known he was leaving UCLA for Lithuania, LiAngelo Ball said he wouldn't have.
"If they didn't tell me to do it, it wouldn't have been in there, to be honest," he said Wednesday.