Bates, a five-star rising senior from Ypsilanti, will reclassify graduating classes and is considering MSU, Memphis and Oregon as well as the G League, a source confirmed to the Free Press on Wednesday. Elgin Bates said in January his son was eligible to reclassify but that decision would be left to Emoni.
Now, he can play in the 2021-22 season, if he chooses to go to college. Bates said last month he was deciding between five schools and three pro leagues.
The 6-foot-9 forward has long been considered the top prospect in his class and possibly the top American prospect period. As a freshman, he led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a 2019 state title then became the first sophomore to win the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Bates had been committed to Michigan State, but in April reopened his options — and the Spartans’ scholarship options for his class. His popularity on social media, along with the NCAA’s recent relaxation of name, image and likeness compensation rules, could make him one of college sports’ top earners.
After averaging about 25 points a game at Ypsi Prep, Bates has played some on the travel circuit this summer. He and his Ypsi Prep teammates played this winter against some of the top prep teams across the country, including future Michigan guard Frankie Collins and fellow five-star underclassmaen Mikey Willams, who just signed a lucrative NIL deal himself.
The G League produced two NBA lottery picks who skirted the NCAA for the NBA’s developmental league. Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga each made $500,000 while performing relatively well in their first year of professional basketball.
Elgin Bates has previously said Ypsi Prep — which rostered other Division I recruits and partners with an NCAA-approved schooling program — will continue to train young basketball players regardless of Emoni’s plans for the upcoming season.
In order to be eligible to play at Michigan State, Bates must be enrolled before classes begin on Sept. 1.
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