It's big news when a high school basketball star announces where he plans to play in college, but an eighth grader with his high school choice?
That’s a big deal in this case, because the player is Emoni Bates.
Bates, who is 6-foot-8 and already has a scholarship offer from DePaul, will play high school basketball at Ypsilanti Lincoln, where he is headed in the fall, his father told The Detroit News.
Bates attended Clague Middle School in Ann Arbor.
"Emoni will play at Ypsilanti Lincoln," said E.J. Bates, Emoni's father and AAU basketball coach at Bates Fundamentals. "Jesse Davis (Lincoln's coach) is like a brother to me and an uncle to Emoni and I know Emoni will be loved and taken care of. Plus, Lincoln is in a smaller school setting and I know he'll get a good education there."
Bates, who weighs about 180, has excellent ball-handling and shooting skills.
"We've been doing a lot of strength and conditioning, but haven't been able to put much weight on him,” said E.J. Bates. “He's as strong as a bull though."
Bates isn't the lone incoming freshman who is expected to make an immediate impact. Kareem Rozier, a 5-8 point guard, is expected to help give Orchard Lake St. Mary's one of the top backcourts in the state, joining 6-1 junior Lorne Bowman, who has an offer from Buffalo and is getting attention from Big Ten schools.
"He's a great passer and can really shoot the ball," said St. Mary's coach Todd Covert of Rozier, who played with OLSM at team camps at Michigan and Oakland. "He's only 5-8, but he doesn't get knocked off the ball.
"Bowman had a great sophomore year and he's gotten better since the season ended. He's ahead of Kalin Lucas at this stage of his career."
Look for Detroit Renaissance to enter the season as the PSL favorite with 6-3 senior Jiovanni Miles, a transfer from Novi, joining the dynamic duo of 6-6 senior Chandler Turner and 6-7 senior Carrington McCaskill.
Miles averaged 15 points and five rebounds last winter to help Novi reach the Class A state semifinals at the Breslin Center.
Novi coach Brandon Sinawi has moved on to take the head coaching job at Detroit Catholic Central.