Could Emoni Bates be coming back closer to home?
Bates, a Ypsilanti native who was once billed as a sure-fire top NBA Draft pick, narrowed down his transfer options and revealed his six possible destinations, a short list that includes Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
Bates made the announcement in an Instagram post on Monday, less than three weeks after he decided to enter the transfer portal following a rocky freshman season at Memphis.
The other programs in the mix for Bates are Arkansas, DePaul, Louisville and Seton Hall.
The 6-foot-9 small forward averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 18 games, with 13 starts, this past season for the Tigers.
Bates missed the entire month of February and the first couple weeks of March with a reported back injury before returning for the NCAA Tournament, where he recorded eight points and a rebound in 15 minutes in Memphis’ games against Boise State and Gonzaga.
Bates played three seasons of prep basketball in Michigan, where he quickly became a star. He led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a Division 1 championship as a freshman in 2019 and was named the 2020 Gatorade national player of the year after averaging 32.4 points, nine rebounds, three assists and 2.2 steals. As a junior at Ypsi Prep Academy, he averaged 24.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Bates, 18, long held the title as the nation’s top recruit in the Class of 2022 before he reclassified to the Class of 2021. He was a consensus five-star prospect and initially committed to Michigan State before reopening his recruitment and choosing Memphis over Michigan State, Oregon and the NBA’s G League.