It was announced early Monday that Emoni Bates of Ypsilanti Lincoln would be appearing on ESPN at 1:40 p.m. to make an announcement. Most fans brushed it off thinking it would be an announcement of which prep school Bates would be attending for his junior and senior seasons of high school.
Instead he announced that at this time he would be verbally committing to Michigan State University.
"As I do know right now, I will be committing to Michigan State University."
Emoni Bates, ESPN's No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2022, announced on SportsCenter that he will be heading to East Lansing. pic.twitter.com/WdrG7R5tpc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 29, 2020
Bates is the #1 overall basketball prospect of 2022 and considered to be one of the best basketball prospects of the last decade.
In Bates’ announcement he says:
“I’m not sure what the future may hold, but as I do know right now, I will be committing to Michigan State University.”
Emoni Bates became the first sophomore ever to be named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. As a freshman, Bates led Ypsilanti Lincoln to its first state championship. In his sophomore season Bates averaged 33.1 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game while leading his team to a 19-3 record and a spot in the District state tournament final against Ann Arbor Huron. That game canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NINTH FIVE-STAR FOR IZZO
If Bates does play for Michigan State, he will be the ninth five-star recruit to play for Tom Izzo at MSU, and the first since Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2017.
A lot could change between now and the start of the 2022 college basketball season, including the NBA collective bargaining agreement. It is believed that Adam Silver the commissioner of the NBA would like to remove the “1 and Done” rule which means Bates would not have to play a year of college basketball or overseas to be eligible for the NBA.
It is also possible that Bates could graduate high school early and reclassify for the 2021 class as Bates and his father eluded to during an interview with ESPN College Basketball writer Jeff Borzello:
Elgin Bates on reclassification: "Anything is possible right now. By the end of his junior year, he will be in position to graduate. We don't know yet. It's up to him, it's a day-by-day thing for him."
Emoni: "It really depends how this year goes … If it's too easy, I might."
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 29, 2020
Bates may never suit up for Tom Izzo and Michigan State but, as of right now he intends to be Spartan.
Photo credit from Yahoo!sports