Emoni Bates Back Home
Memphis Former top high school basketball recruit Emoni Bates revealed on Wednesday that he will return to his native state of Michigan to play for Eastern Michigan.
Early in May, the Ypsilanti, Michigan, native revealed a list of six colleges, among them Eastern Michigan, Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, and Louisville. Bates was considered for Illinois and Kansas State during the process, but he decided to stay home and play for Stan Heath and the Eagles instead.
Bates, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was ranked first in the 2022 class until he reclassified last summer and fell to third in the 2021 class. Throughout his high school career, Bates was regarded as one of the top basketball prospects in the nation.
Bates’ high school recruitment was equally mysterious as his transfer recruitment. Although Bates reopened his recruitment in April 2021 after making his initial commitment to Michigan State in the summer of 2020, it was widely believed that Bates would forego college and become pro instead. But after switching his class from 2022 to 2021, he decided to attend Memphis.
His one campaign with Penny Hardaway proved unsatisfactory. He struggled on the floor and missed 15 of his team’s 33 games due to a back problem that sent him home to consult a doctor. In each of his first three games of the season, Bates scored at least 15 points, but he was unable to do so any more.
With the Tigers, Bates had a 9.7 point and 3.3 rebound average.
As soon as he joins Eastern Michigan, a program that hasn’t made it to the NCAA tournament since 1998, he becomes the most well-known player in the Mid-American Conference. Heath, who is in his second season with the Eagles, has 12 years of experience as a head coach in a major conference from his tenure at South Florida and Arkansas.