Bates is on his way to Memphis to play for Penny Hardaway and the Tigers. He chose them over other finalists including the G-League, Michigan State and Oregon. The 6-foot-8 forward will play for Memphis this upcoming season.
Hardaway has had no problem landing top-tier recruits during his coaching career. And though Memphis has yet to have much success on the national scale and in the NCAA Tournament, it’s only a matter of time before the Tigers make some noise and set the college hoops world on fire. LeBron agrees.
The Lakers forward believes Hardaway is the perfect coach for Bates, who averaged 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game at Lincoln High School during the 2019-20 season.
“PERFECT MATCH!! Completely agree. He can flat out relate to him on all levels and gone let him rock out,” LeBron said of Hardaway and Bates, via Twitter.
PERFECT MATCH!! Completely agree. He can flat out relate to him on all levels and gone let him rock out 🎸
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2021
This isn’t the first time Penny Hardaway has wrangled in one of the top recruits in the nation. The Memphis head coach scored five-star center James Wiseman, now playing for the Golden State Warriors, back in 2019. Wiseman, of course, played in just three games during his collegiate career after he received a suspension from the NCAA for “recruiting inducements his family received” before he joined the Tigers.
Emoni Bates, meanwhile, will be Hardaway’s next superstar at Memphis. He’s an elite scorer and has a diverse skill-set. He’ll no doubt garner plenty of attention this upcoming season.
Luckily for Memphis fans, Bates will spend at least two years with the Tigers. He’ll be ineligible to enter the NBA Draft following this upcoming college hoops season because of his age.