Emoni Bates reclassifies to 2021 class, MSU one of four options

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

Ypsilanti's Emoni Bates is no longer the No. 1 high school basketball recruit for the 2022 class.

But he is another step closer to deciding whether or not he'll be a Spartan.

Emoni Bates

Bates listed Michigan State as one of four potential destinations while announcing Wednesday via Instagram that he is reclassifying into the 2021 class.

Oregon, Memphis and the G League were also included in Bates' "Big 4." He hopes to play this upcoming season, according to Stadium's Jeff Goodman.

Bates, a 6-foot-9 forward who turned 17 in January, committed to Michigan State in June 2020 but reopened his recruiting in April of this year.

Despite an early departure from Ypsilanti Prep, he won't make the age cut-off for the 2022 NBA Draft, meaning that Bates' choice could mean a two-season endeavor.

He could also play a season in the college ranks before departing again for the G League, or another previously desired pro league (Overtime Elite; New Zealand's National Basketball League) ahead of his draft-year season.

Bates has been referred to as one of the best prospects since LeBron James entered the draft in 2003 out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Bates led Ypsilanti Lincoln to its first state title in program history as a freshman in 2019 and was named 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2020 before transferring to Ypsilanti Prep, a prep school created by his father, EJ.

He averaged 23 points, 5.8 rebounds and three assists as a junior en route to being named one of five finalists for the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award. 

Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.