To understand Emoni Bates and his journey you must go back in time to late June of last year. During a national announcement on June 29th, 2020 on ESPN, Bates surprised many by committing to Michigan State Basketball.
It was not shocking that he picked Michigan State as he visited East Lansing many times since he became an up-and-coming recruit. As a sophomore in high school, he was dubbed by si.com as the next Kevin Durant. He attended and played at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan before transferring to the Ypsi Prep Academy before the start of his junior year. Then after playing his junior season of basketball, he de-committed from Michigan State.
It appeared that after his de-commitment he was going to reclassify and go to the NBA G-League. However, on July 23rd of this year, he puts out his top 8 choices that included professional and collegiate teams. One of those schools was Michigan State which seemed surprising because he had de-committed from them a few months earlier. Then Bates came out with his top 4 list.
Bates included Michigan State again in his top four rankings as well as the NBA G League, Memphis, and Oregon. The Spartans seem to still be an option for Bates as Michigan State still has two available scholarships not just for Bates but possibly another student-athlete as well. It was very surprising that Izzo didn’t target any top transfers with those two available scholarships and now why may know why. Is Bates to Michigan State still a legit possibility?
The possibility of playing college basketball for the 2021-22 season is a stronger possibility for Bates and others for various reasons. For Bates, he will not be 19 years of age until January 2023, this technically means that Bates will not be eligible to participate in the 2022 NBA Draft under the current NBA league rules that are in place.
Another reason is college athletes are now are able to use their name, image, and likeness as the NCAA greatly relaxed its policies on NIL for college athletes. Bates could possibly make money in college with NIL than in comparison possibly financial benefits of participating in the NBA G League. However, no one truly knows which option Bates will choose between playing college basketball starting this fall or playing in the NBA G League.
Emoni Bates will be successful regardless of if he plays in the NBA G League or plays collegiately but here is why playing at Michigan State could be beneficial for him.