Emoni Bates Verbally Commits To Play For Tom Izzo At Michigan State
Emoni Bates is the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year, and he has decided to play college ball at Michigan State.
Bates is only a sophomore, but most people consider him to be the biggest recruit since Lebron James was in high school. Bates just finished up his sophomore year at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, but is transferring to play his junior and senior years.
The commitment to Michigan State came as a bit of a surprise to everyone, including Michigan State. Bates made the surprise announcement on ESPN this week. Watch the moment when Bates and his entire family pull out their Sparty hats to celebrate the announcement.
You might notice that Emoni is wearing a Ypsi Prep Academy shirt in the video. If you've never heard of Ypsi Prep, that's ok, nobody else has either. The school is a brand new academy being opened up by Bates dad Elgin, this summer.
There are some rumblings that Bates may not even play college ball, and in the world of college sports, a commitment doesn't really mean much until the player is in the uniform. Bates did explain why he made the sudden announcement to head to East Lansing and play with Izzo.
I love how they coach, Coach Izzo, I like how they focus on defense more than offense. That's a big key in basketball, and people don't understand that. On and off the court, he has passion. He's just an amazing guy, overall
Most experts thought that Bates would never step foot on a college court because by the time he graduates, the one year of college ball requirement might be gone. Now it looks like that rule will stay in place longer than expected, so the chances of Bates playing college ball are increasing.
The NBA also put in a new path to the NBA through the G League, but Bates didnt seem very interested in that. He told ESPN that it's good for some people, but that he didn't think he would do that.
There is still a lot of time for things to change, but right now Michigan State is celebrating their first top recruit in a few years.