Emoni Bates, widely considered the No. 1 high school basketball prospect, regardless of class, has announced his future plans.
The long-rumored favorite in his recruitment since taking the basketball world by storm back in middle school, Michigan State, earned a commitment from the 6-foot-9 phenom this afternoon.
“I don’t know what the future may hold, but what I do know right now is that I will be committing to Michigan State University,” Bates said in a surprise announcement on SportsCenter this afternoon. “I want to say thank you to the coaches on the MSU staff for staying with me since I was a youngin’ and being there through the process.”
Bates, a five-star forward out of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is currently listed as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2022 and is seen as the top recruit out of high school since LeBron James.
For that reason, professional rumors have followed the five-star forward, leading to a limited recruitment regarding potential schools. In fact, when college coaches were allowed to reach out to 2022 prospects directly back on June 15, Michigan State – the hometown school – was the only program to contact Bates.
With limited recruiting interest, the high school standout’s college choice was easy.
“They’ve been showing love to me since I was in seventh grade, they’ve been recruiting me since then,” Bates told SportsCenter. “They showed that their love is genuine and have been there a long time. I’m big on loyalty, and they’ve showed me loyalty, so I have to show them love back.”
While his college recruiting process may be done, the professional option remains a legitimate possibility for the high school superstar. In fact, there were rumblings just this morning that Bates could announce his reclassification to the class of 2021 and sign with an agent, making his professional decision official.
Judging by his “I don’t know what the future may hold” comment prior to his commitment to MSU, it appears that may be the next step for Bates.
Until then, though, Michigan State can celebrate the commitment of one of the most talented high school prospects in recent memory.