The Next Big Thing: Emoni Bates


Photo Courtesy Of: Getty Images

Photo Caption: Emoni Bates, class of 2022 plays basketball in a packed arena for Ypsi Prep Academy.

Emoni Bates is widely regarded as the #1 high school basketball player in the nation. What’s surprising about this is that he was deemed the #1 player in all of high school by ESPN’s top 100 basketball players as a sophomore. At only 16 years old he has ranked ahead of countless senior prospects. He is regarded by scouts as a transcendent talent and would even be a top pick in the NBA Draft if he was allowed to enter. This 6 ft 9, 200-pound guard from Michigan is getting comparisons to the likes of Kevin Durant and Lebron James.


Born in Ann Arbor Michigan, Bates was viewed as a top prospect since middle school because of his combination of size and skillset on the court. He currently attends Ypsi Prep Academy in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and led his team as a freshman to a state title victory. Although his sophomore season was cut short due to COVID-19, he won Gatorade’s Boys National Player of the Year. Averaging 32.3 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.1 steals, he’s the only sophomore ever to win this award. Nor Lebron, Jordan, or any player has won this at such a young age, so you can understand the hype behind him.


To the surprise of most, Emoni Bates appeared on ESPN with his family and soft committed to play basketball at Michigan State. With little to no warning the best player in high school basketball committed which is not normal. “I’m not sure what the future may hold, but as I do know of right now, I will be committing to Michigan State University,” he said. Nevertheless, his pledge to the Spartans comes well over two years from now before he’ll suit up in green and play a game in the Breslin Center.