Best basketball prodigy since LeBron? Why Emoni Bates is such a big deal

Bates made big headlines Monday with unexpected college choice, but future questions still linger

Emoni Bates posts up with the ball during the 2019 Division 1 state championship boys basketball game at Michigan State University. Contributed photo
Emoni Bates posts up with the ball during the 2019 Division 1 state championship boys basketball game at Michigan State University. Contributed photo (Hockey Weekly Action Photos/MHSAA)

With one unexpected sentence, Emoni Bates set the basketball world and Twitter on fire Monday afternoon.

“I’m not sure what the future may hold, but I do know right now I will be committing to Michigan State University,” said Bates during an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

After speaking those words, Bates, the nation’s consensus No. 1 high school basketball player in the Class of 2022, set off a national reaction of various emotions.

Shock was one such feeling, since elite high school recruits usually plan out when they will be committing to a college and announce a set day and time when they will do so.

There wasn’t any warning at all from Bates, who appeared on SportsCenter mainly for the purpose of announcing that he will be attending a newly formed prep school in his hometown of Ypslianti, Michigan.

Bates played his first two years of high school at Ypsilanti Lincoln High School.

Another feeling was elation, particularly for fans of Michigan State basketball, who were understandably jumping for joy over Bates choosing to play for their school/team.

Finally, there was curiosity, as his decision started a debate about his future that will last for months.


About the Author: