Emoni Bates was supposed to be one of the next big things in basketball. He was a former No. 1 prospect in high school and ultimately reclassified in order to go to Memphis early, but things didn’t go as planned and he wound up transferring after one season. Bates’ next destination? Eastern Michigan.

Bates made the announcement on his Instagram:


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That certainly seems like a major shocker given all the hype surrounding Emoni Bates in high school, but Eastern Michigan is in his hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Bates considered Louisville, Michigan, Seton Hall and DePaul before deciding to return home, per On3.

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Bates averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his lone season at Memphis. A back injury kept him out for about a month and a half. Things just didn’t work out for him on Penny Hardaway’s club, so now he finds himself playing for Stan Heath at Eastern Michigan. The Eagles went just 10-21 last season.

It has been quite a roller-coaster ride for Emoni Bates. He initially committed to Michigan State before his junior year of high school, but he decommitted in 2021. Many thought he wouldn’t play a second of college basketball.

However, the introduction of NIL deals made that a possibility again, and Hardaway secured Bates’ commitment. Now it’s time for the next step of his journey. Will he be able to recover and make the NBA at some point? We’ll just have to wait and see.