Emoni Bates, the former top high school basketball prospect, is heading home.
The Memphis transfer announced Wednesday his intentions to transfer to Eastern Michigan, which sits in his hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Bates initially released a list of six finalists in May — Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, Louisville and Eastern Michigan.
The 6-foot-9, 200-pound small forward was the No. 3 overall player in the class of 2021, per ESPN, one spot ahead of Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick to the Magic in the 2022 NBA Draft. Bates committed to Memphis under head coach Penny Hardaway after originally committing to Michigan State.
Bates arrived at Memphis with tons of hype, as it was once thought he could skip college and play professionally. Bates’ lone season under Hardaway was a mixed bag — with Bates playing in just 18-of-33 games due to a back injury.
When on the floor, Bates struggled. After recording 15+ points in each of his first three games of the season, Bates failed to reach that mark again. He averaged 9.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 1.3 APG on 38.6% from the field.
Bates joins an Eastern Michigan side that hasn’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 1998 and finished 10-21 (5-15 MAC) in the 2021 season.