Emonie Bates, the former No. 1 basketball and Memphis Tiger recruit, moves to Eastern Michigan

Memphis transfer Emonie Bates1 high school basketball player, announced Wednesday that he is going home to play for the Eastern Michigan team.

The star from Ypsilanti, Michigan, released a list of six schools in early May, a group that included Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, and Louisville as well as Eastern Michigan. Other schools were attached to Bates throughout the process, including Illinois and Kansas, but he chose to return to his hometown and play with Stan Heath and the Eagles.

Bates, a 6-foot-9 petite striker, has been one of the nation’s top potential basketball players throughout his high school career, ranking first in the 2022 class until re-ranked last summer and ending up third in 2021.

Much like transfers, Bates’ high school recruitment was shrouded in mystery. He originally committed to Michigan State in the summer of 2020 and then reopened recruitment in April 2021, but Bates was widely expected to skip college and play professionally. But after moving from 2022 to 2021, he committed to Memphis.

His only season under Benny Hardaway was mixed. He missed 15 matches out of 33 due to a back injury that required him to go home to see a specialist, and struggled while on the ground. Bates scored at least 15 points in each of his first three games of the season, but failed to reach that point again the rest of the season.

The Bates averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Tigers.

He immediately became the most famous player in the Mid-American Conference, playing for the Eastern Michigan team that hasn’t reached the NCAA Championship since 1998. Heath, who is entering his second season with the Eagles, has 12 years of experience coaching major conference chiefs from his stint at Arkansas and South Florida.

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Eastern Michigan went 10-21 overall last season, 5-15 at MAC.

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