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Former Top Recruit Emoni Bates Officially Signs With New School

Memphis stars Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates.

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 10: Jalen Duren #2 and Emoni Bates #1 of the Memphis Tigers walk up the court against the Murray State Racers during a game on December 10, 2021 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Murray State defeated Memphis 74-72. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Former five-star recruit Emoni Bates will officially start his next college basketball chapter at Eastern Michigan.

Bates, a Ypsilanti native, has signed with his hometown program, EMU announced on Tuesday. He is eligible to play right away.

"I love my city and coming home to do something special was big for me," Bates said in a statement. "I've known several of the guys on the team from playing together and competing. Having a strong relationship and bond with my teammates and coaching staff was important to me."

A onetime Michigan State commit, Bates eventually enrolled at Memphis, where he played his freshman season in 2021-22. 

In 18 games with Memphis, Bates made 13 starts and averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 rebounds per outing. The 6-foot-9 forward shot 38.6% from the field and 32.9% from three-point range.

Bates scored in double-figures eight times, including a career-high 17-point effort in his debut. However, he played only 15 total minutes in Memphis' NCAA Tournament games against Boise State and Gonzaga.