If you have not yet heard the name Emoni Bates, you probably will soon enough. Bates is a 6’6 7th grader out of Ann Arbor and he just so happens to be the top-ranked 7th grader in the nation. Bates recently talked to The Detroit News about his love for the game, his focus on school, and how Michigan State is one of his teams.
From The Detroit News:
Ann Arbor – The tiny gym at Ann Arbor Clague Junior High was packed Thursday afternoon with basketball fans anxiously awaiting to get a glimpse of 6-foot-6 Emoni Bates, ranked the No. 1 rated seventh-grader in the nation by one recruiting website.
And did the 12-year-old Bates ever put on a show Thursday, tossing in and slamming down 28 points to set the tempo in the opening quarter against Ann Arbor Scarlett in an eventual 79-47 victory.
Bates has been compared to Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors. Durant is his favorite player, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are his favorite team. He said Michigan State and Kentucky are his top college basketball teams. One day – possibly soon – he could be getting offers from the Spartans and Wildcats.
“I just have to keep working hard on my game and keep good grades,” said Emoni of possibly playing for the Spartans or Wildcats. He has a 3.3 GPA and his favorite subject is math.
Emoni isn’t concerned with his No. 1 ranking. He just enjoys playing basketball.
“I just liked playing when I first saw it,” said Bates. “I was always surrounded by my older cousins and they all played, so when I got my opportunity to take over with what they used to do, I did and had fun with it.
“I like everything about it, just love it. I play two or three hours in the gym, every day, just working on my game. I like shooting the three the most because I can shoot and I like taking the ball to the basket too. I’m working on strength training now; that’s the biggest thing I need to work on for AAU.”
If you have not seen Bates in action, check out the video below, you will be blown away. This is a 7th grader, folks!
After watching the video, make sure to head to The Detroit News website to read the entire column by David Goricki.