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In-state basketball phenom Emoni Bates commits to Michigan State...for now

It still seems iffy that he plays college basketball.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: DEC 09 River Rouge at Ypsilanti Lincoln Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Emoni Bates caught everyone by surprise on Monday when it was announced he would be making his college decision on Sportscenter. From there, he committed to the only college program that has seriously been recruiting him in Michigan State.

Why is that? Well, college coaches do not expect him to ever step on campus.

“I don’t know what the future will hold, but as of now I will be committing to Michigan State,” Bates said on Monday in the announcement.

Bates is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect and has been labeled as a player equivalent to a LeBron James or Kevin Durant out of high school. One of these players comes around once every decade or so, making his decision one of the most anticipated in the modern history of the sport.

He is an incredible talent and is the first sophomore ever to win Gatorade’s National Player of the Year award this past spring, which was awarded to him via a phone call from Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. It is expected that prospects may be able to enter the draft out of high school as soon as the 2022 NBA Draft class, but the G-League’s investment in high school talent may also wind up being an option.

Bates did hold an offer from Juwan Howard and Michigan, which was extended to him quickly after Howard took the job in Ann Arbor last spring.

We will have to see what happens, but the Ypsilanti Lincoln star from right down the road in Ann Arbor won’t be a Michigan Wolverine. Heck, he may not be a Spartan in anything more than commitment only. But he is a hell of a basketball player and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.