Emoni Bates is a 6-foot-9 16-year-old and is the best high school basketball player in the country regardless of class. He’s been hailed as “the next LeBron” because of his skill level and the way he dominates so easily while being built more like Kevin Durant.
In his sophomore season, the Ypsilanti, Michigan, native averaged 32.4 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game. In two years of high school basketball he’s scored an astonishing 1,343 points. From the first time scouts and college coaches saw him play as an eighth grader, the consensus was the same: Bates is a pro and most likely won’t be going to college.
“The first time I saw him play, it took me a total of five seconds to realize this kid is not going to college. And I still think that’s true regardless of his verbal commitment to Michigan State,” a Power Five assistant coach told Yahoo Sports.
Which is why it was so surprising when Bates, the gem of the Class of 2022, announced Monday on ESPN that he’s committing to in-state power Michigan State. “I’m not sure what the future holds, but what I do know right now is that I will be committing to Michigan State University,” Bates said.