Bates and switch! Nation's top prep hoops star pulls MSU commitment

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Whether Emoni Bates ever plays college basketball is an answer virtually no one but Bates knows at this point.

But according to the star from Ypsilanti and the No. 1 recruit in the nation in the 2022 class, it doesn’t appear his next stop will be Michigan State.

“I would like to thank Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State but I have decided to reopen my recruitment,” Bates said on Instagram on Friday. “I’m not sure what my future holds but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro.”

Emoni Bates

Bates committed to Michigan State in June of 2020, though at the time he did not say whether he would actually play for Tom Izzo and the Spartans or whether he would pursue a professional career.

Bates led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state championship as a freshman in 2019 before averaging 31 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2020. He became the first sophomore and youngest player at age 16 to win the Gatorade High School Boys Basketball National Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-9 guard then moved for his junior season to Ypsilanti Prep, an academy created by his father, EJ Bates.

Bates was teamed with fellow Michigan State commit Jaden Akins at the start of the season, but in December, Akins left Ypsilanti Prep and transferred to Sunrise Christian in Bel Aire, Kansas. The 6-3 guard finished the season there and is signed at Michigan State, ready to join the Spartans for the 2021-22 season.

There has been some discussion that Bates would reclassify to the 2021 class, though there has been no confirmation from Bates on what he’ll do. Either way, the biggest question is whether he plays in college or becomes a professional.

Last June when Bates announced his commitment to Michigan State, he gave no hints about what he was planning to do, other than saying he was “loyal” to the Spartans.

“I’m not sure what my future may hold, but I do know as of right know I will be committed to Michigan State University,” Bates said. “They’ve been showing love to me since I was in the seventh grade, they’ve been recruiting me hard since then, so I just know that they’re showing that they love me genuine and they have just been here for a long time. I’m big on loyalty and they’ve showed me all loyalty, so I have to show them love back."

Twitter: @mattcharboneau