Top high school prospect Emoni Bates announced he has verbally committed to play at Michigan State.
Bates, currently in the 2022 class, made the announcement Monday afternoon on ESPN surrounded by his family and hinted at the fact that he could end up not attending the school.
"I'm not sure what the future may hold, but I do know right now I will be committing to Michigan State," he said.
Bates could choose to forgo college and head straight to the NBA if the league changes its one-and-done rule, which has been proposed. He could also opt to reclassify to the 2021 recruiting class and play the 2021–22 college season rather than 2022–23. Regarding reclassification, his father Elgin told ESPN, "Anything is possible right now. By the end of [Emoni's] 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."
Under current rules, Bates will not be eligible to be drafted by the NBA until 2023.
Bates has been compared to NBA stars like LeBron James and heralded as the next great generational talent. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 15 years old, when Michael Rosenberg profiled him during his sophomore season at Lincoln High in Ypsilanti, Mich. The 6-foot-9, 180-pound forward led the Railsplitters to a 19–3 record and averaged 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 50% from the field. His many accolades from last season include being named the 2019 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.