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Michigan State, Izzo land nation’s top basketball recruit

Ypsilanti Lincoln Emoni Bates commits to MSU

Ypsilanti Lincoln player and Gatorade National Player of the Year Emoni Bates, dunks the ball against Howell in a MHSAA semifinal game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing in March, 2019. (Jason Juno/Ironwood Daily Globe photo)

YPSILANTI — As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Ypsilanti Lincoln basketball phenom Emoni Bates, the No. 1 prospect in the country for the 2022 class, committed to Michigan State basketball during a live interview on ESPN Sportscenter on Monday.

“I’m not sure what the future may hold,” the 16-year-old Bates said, “but as I do know right now, I will be committing to Michigan State University.”

Bates had scholarship offers from Michigan, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky and DePaul, among others. Duke was the first to extend him an offer, when he was in eighth grade.

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound recruit has been described as the top player in high school regardless of class dating back to his freshman year, when he led Lincoln and head coach Jesse Davis to the MHSAA Division 1 state championship and secured the 2018-19 Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year award.

As a sophomore at Lincoln in 2019-20, he became the Gatorade National Player of the Year, averaging 31.6 points, nine rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during the season, after his team finished 19-3 overall and 14-1 in league play. He scored 63 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a double-overtime win Feb. 18 against Chelsea.

Former winners of the Gatorade National Player of the Year award include Chris Webber (1991), Kobe Bryant (1996), LeBron James (2002, 2003), Dwight Howard (2004), Greg Oden (2005, 2006), Bradley Beal (2011), Jabari Parker (2012), Andrew Wiggins (2013), Karl-Anthony Towns (2014), Ben Simmons (2015), Jayson Tatum (2016), RJ Barrett (2018) and James Wiseman (2019).

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