Michigan State University and their men’s basketball program got some massive news Monday afternoon, as five-star recruit Emoni Bates announced that he is committing to the Spartans for his college career. 

Bates just finished his sophomore year in high school, so he won’t step onto the court in East Lansing until the fall of 2022, but there is a lot for fans of the team to be excited about. Bates is arguably the best high school recruit in the entire county, regardless of age. He is also considered the best high school prospect in the last ten years. He won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award last season, the youngest to ever do so. 

The Michigan native has already been compared to that of LeBron James as a prospect. In speaking to ESPN, Bates’ father Elgin Bates said that he is happy for his son and feels that Michigan State was the best choice. “Coach [Tom] Izzo and Coach [Mike] Garland and that entire MSU staff has been showing love since his seventh-grade year. They’ve been very consistent. They really have a genuine care for him and the family. They care for him, not only as a player, but as a person. That’s really big for us as a family and for him as a player.”

The 16-year-old Bates has been highly touted since the seventh grade and is an elite shot creator, similar to the likes of Kevin Durant.

The one caveat, however, is that Bates only made a verbal commitment to Michigan State, there are a lot of things that could change. He could decommit from Michigan State, he could go straight to the NBA G-League, playing one year after high school overseas has been a popular route. One option that is not available now for high school basketball players, but can be in the future, is the NBA getting rid of the one-and-done rule and allowing high schoolers to enter their names straight into the NBA draft following graduating from high school. For right now, Spartan fans should be immensely excited.

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