What next for Emoni Bates, the once-acclaimed basketball rookie?

Emoni Bates One of the country’s most promising high schools, it was hailed as the ‘next high school’. Kevin Durant.”

Bates has fallen quite a bit over the past two years since receiving these glowing accolades and predictions. was. Eastern Michigan college team.

Bates was driving a borrowed car and the weapon, the gun, did not belong to him, his lawyers argued at a hearing the day after his arrest. A trial date has been set for October. 6 And the situation unfolds in the judicial system.

Bates is found innocent and can return to basketball at EMU, or if found guilty, he may not even wear a jersey and not play a single game next college season. When Bates first stepped onto the basketball scene, for those lucky enough to see him play as a young prospect, it’s hard to believe that this is where he ended up at 18. .

He has had a path that has consisted of questionable decisions both on and off the basketball court in the intense glare of the media. increase.

In 2019, when Bates was 15, Sports Illustrated called him a “once-in-a-generation talent” Call him Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, lebron jamesWhen I was a sophomore, ESPN ranked him among the best prospects in high school, compared him to Kevin Durant, regardless of class.That same year, Yahoo Sports and announced that Bates Youngest Men’s Basketball Player in History Wins Gatorade Player of the YearWhen I was in the lower grades, The Athletic has a feature-length feature on Bates “It doesn’t matter if Emmoni is the top pick in the NBA Draft, it’s when.”

That’s a lot of pressure for any basketball player, especially a young player like Bates.

Eastern Michigan basketball star Emoni Bates faces weapons charges in court after being arrested earlier this month. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Even at the age of 14, Bates made headlines with his long 6-foot-9 frame during his freshman year of high school. he can score from anywhere on the court, LeBron coaching on the sidelines dropped 43 points to Bronnie JamesHis body had time to grow and the sky seemed to be the limit for Bates. Created AAU teams (Ypsi Prep Academy and Nike’s Bates Fundamental). Bates and his teammates flew across the country for matches, and Bates himself needed security to get in and out of the gym. All this happened before Bates turned 16.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bates worked out with his dad in the backyard every day, rarely watching 5-on-5 competitions for months. When the high school season resumed six months later, Bates was showing little to no improvement. Ypsi Prep regularly lost matches on national television (One of the most high-profile games against future no. 2 NBA draft picks, Chet Holmgren). Despite this, he remained the top high school prospect in the junior class.

The summer before fourth grade, Bates announced that he will be reclassified for a year and will join Penny Hardaway’s team in alongside top players from the same high school, Jalen Duren.

When Durren and Bates emerged as the two top recruits in the country, there was a lot of hype surrounding them.Hardaway succeeded in acquiring top recruits such as James Wiseman.

Bates started his college career averaging 16 points in his first three games. His playing time and consistency soon plummeted, and he briefly left campus in late January, citing a flare-up of back pain. His body language on the bench and his body language against Hardaway was not positive, and Bates entered the transfer portal after the season ended.

“We got a glimpse of his potential on the court, but being so young and playing at the college level, it was clear he still needed a year of development.” is ‘The Guy’, a program that requires leadership and I was really looking forward to this season.”

The asset waited until Aug. 23 to announce its commitment to eastern Michigan. His other college or professional choices included Louisville and his G League his Ignite, but he chose a school in his hometown of Ypsilanti.

He missed summer training with the team and was late in joining the program.

“There are always pros and cons to being close to home,” one Power Five assistant coach told Yahoo Sports. The downside is what we see in the current emoni situation: people who shouldn’t be around and who are a bad influence can put you at risk, a position like this. it really For real It’s a sad situation and I don’t want to see any child go through it.”

Bates is only 18 years old. He’s living his dream and he still has time to get into the NBA. before he was arrested Bates was a first-round draft pick in 2023Any developments in court could change the situation, and NBA teams will be watching closely.

“When evaluating players in the NBA, it’s just as important as how they behave off the court,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t think anyone has full faith in Bates yet because he still has time to learn from this and grow as a player.”

This is not necessarily the end of Bates. Looking at last year’s draft class, Keegan Murray (No. 4 pick) was 22, Jaren Williams (No. 12 pick) was 21, and Ochai Agbaj (No. 14 pick) was 22. Of this, though, it’s now a steep climb for Bates, with his first test on Oct. 6 in court.

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