The inaugural SI All-American Boys Basketball Team features 15 of the top high school basketball players in the country broken up into three teams who have displayed exceptional dominance during the high school season. Each player has exhibited a level of play this season that will make them a household name at the next level and beyond.
Prospect: Emoni Bates
Status: SI All-American Third Team
Vitals: 6-foot-8, 205 pounds
Position: Small Forward
School: Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Schools of Interest: Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida State, DePaul, among many others
Why He’s an SI All-American: Despite being just a sophomore, Bates is widely regarded as the top high school prospect in the country, regardless of class. How did he respond to the proverbial hype? By dominating. Bates surpassed the lofty expectations, averaging 31 points and 10 rebounds a game. He led the Railsplitters to a 19-3 record and eclipsed the 40-point-mark five times season, including a 63-point outing in February. Bates is a gifted scorer with marksman-like efficiency from the perimeter, elite ball handling skills and a motor that won’t be denied. That’s drawn comparisons to Brooklyn Nets star and former NBA MVP Kevin Durant.
What He Said: “I’m honored and thankful for the people who voted for me. I want to thank the Creator for blessing me, for my health and seeing me through another successful season. Most importantly my family’s support; I have a great support system. I’m going to take it all in, yet there’s still a long road ahead.”