Emoni Bates to potentially announce commitment Friday, MSU among finalists

Nolan Bianchi
Special to the Detroit News

No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law.

It's also how Michigan State has recruited Ypsilanti basketball phenom Emoni Bates, and it'll find out soon whether a new age has truly begun in East Lansing.

An Instagram post from his father, E.J., on Tuesday night indicated he'll be making his decision public Friday at 6 p.m.

Ypsilanti Lincoln's Emoni Bates is the youngest player to win Gatorade High School Boys Basketball National Player of the Year honors.

Michigan State is one of four potential destinations for Bates, who'd long been the top recruit in the 2022 class before he reclassified to the 2021 class earlier this month. Memphis, Oregon and the NBA G League are also in the mix for Bates.

The announcement of the announcement appears to be provoked by a report from 247Sports that he'd be announcing his decision on Wednesday. 

"Now there's nothing to leak!" Bates' father wrote in his Instagram caption. "It's unfortunate a kid can't have a moment to himself without people trying to ruin it!"

Bates, a 6-foot-9 forward, was previously committed to Michigan State but reopened his recruitment in April of this year. He earned a state title as a freshman, was the youngest Gatorade National Player of the Year winner as a sophomore, and was one of five finalists for the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award as a junior in 2021. 

Reclassification to the 2021 class, as well as the rapidly changing financial landscape of college athletics, has since added an even wider array of considerations to the mix, but an early departure from Ypsilanti Prep still won't give him a shorter path to the NBA.

Bates doesn't make the age requirement to qualify for the 2022 NBA Draft Class, so he'll have to play two seasons before making that dream come true. On its face, that appears to be a dream for the college to land Bates — but he could also decide to play a season in NCAA before deciding he wants to test the G League in his draft year. 

For now, though, it appears as if some clarification on step one is coming soon.

Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.