Emoni Bates Chooses Michigan State


Emoni Bates, the consensus top prospect in the class of 2022, decided to announce his college commitment two years ahead of time.

Appearing on ESPN Sportscenter, Bates said that he’d be playing for Michigan State.

That assumes Bates ever steps foot on a college basketball court. There is widespread speculation that he will go directly from high school to the pros, which is one reason that, after a few meetings with him last year, Duke coaches have seemingly not recruited Bates heavily, despite his obvious skill and potential.

As Sports Illustrated said in its cover story on Bates last year, “This is why most college coaches have not bothered to call. Duke, the era’s dominant recruiting power, has barely shown interest. Emoni understands the reasoning, but he is still miffed. He says, ‘I never said nothing about me going to college for a year or going straight to the NBA.’”

Bates could go directly to the NBA, if the league waives the one-and-done rule, a ruling it’s been speculated could impact the class of 2022. There is also speculation he could reclassify to the class of 2021. Then, he’d have to spend a year in the G-League, likely making close to a half million dollars, before entering the draft.

Michigan State, however, is banking that he’ll attend school for at least a year.

The 6-foot-8, 200-pound small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Lincoln High is considered one of the best high school prospects in recent history, perhaps dating back to LeBron James.

“He is the best player I’ve ever seen. You have to see it to believe it,” an anonymous college assistant told Sports Illustrated in its cover story on Bates last year.

He also had offers from DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky and Michigan.