Emoni Bates, the No. 2 men's basketball prospect in the class of 2022, committed to play for Penny Hardaway's Memphis, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Bates, 17, will join his former AAU teammate and top prospect Jalen Duren on a loaded Tigers squad. He chose Memphis over Oregon, Michigan State and G League Ignite among others. In June 2020, Bates initially committed to Michigan State to play under Spartans coach Tom Izzo before changing his mind in April.
Earlier this month, the 6-foot-9 forward made the decision to reclassify from 2022 to 2021 around the same time Duren made his decision to commit to Memphis.
With Bates headed to Memphis, he becomes the second-highest ranked recruit in the history of the Tigers' program behind only James Wiseman, according to the Commercial Appeal. It's Hardaway's second big-name commitment for the offseason and his fifth since taking over the program.
Bates started off playing high school basketball at Ypsilanti Lincoln in Michigan before going to YPSI Prep, a school that his family created. In November 2019, he landed on the front cover of Sports Illustrated and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore, averaging 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
The 17-year-old is not eligible for the 2022 NBA draft, which means he could potentially play two seasons under Hardaway. That, however, remains to be seen.
Bates is the the seventh addition to the Tigers since March. With Bates and Duren to go with a couple transfers—Chandler Lawson and Earl Timberlake—Hardaway will have a solid pieces to join with a foundation that he built last season, including leading scorer Landers Nolley II.
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