Eastern Michigan star Emoni Bates released a statement after his two felony gun charges were dropped in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Emoni Bates : Arrest | why did transfer to Michigan

Emoni James-Wayne Bates is an American college basketball player for the Eastern Michigan Eagles of the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Emoni Bates : Arrest | why did transfer to Michigan

Personal information
Born January 28, 2004 (age 18)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
       Listed height        6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)

He previously played for the Memphis Tigers.

In his first two years of high school, Bates played basketball for Lincoln High School in his hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he was heavily touted by the national media and rated as the top recruit in his class.

He led Lincoln to a state championship as a freshman and became the first sophomore to win the Gatorade National Player of the Year boys’ award.

Emoni Bates Arrest 

Judge Patrick J. Conlin Jr. dropped Bates’s felony charges that included carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm, according to Forbes’ Adam Zagoria.

Emoni Bates : Arrest | why did transfer to Michigan

Also the news comes after ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Pete Thamel reported that Bates’s charges would be fully dropped this week upon completing a misdemeanor diversion program. Previously, a not-guilty plea had been entered on Bates’s behalf. 

In his statement, the 18-year-old wrote that he hopes that his mistake can “inspire others to think before acting.”

“Growth is a lifetime experience, I will harness the value within the lesson and continue to be of service to my community,” Bates said.

Bates also thanked his parents, lawyer Steve Haney and family, friends and supporters. “Thank you for your unconditional love, inspiration and encouraging words,” Bates said. “… Steve Haney thank you for your diligence and believing in me. You motivated me to keep my head high and continue to look ahead.”

Bates was arrested on Sept. 18 when deputies initiated a traffic stop after Bates failed to stop at an intersection, a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told Sports Illustrated.

Emoni Bates : Arrest | why did transfer to Michigan

But according to ESPN, the police report said Bates told officers there was marijuana and a gun in the car. The police searched the car and the gun was discovered.

Also Haney told Thamel on Sept. 19 to “reserve judgment on this. There’s way more to the story. He borrowed someone’s car, was pulled over and a gun was located in the car.”

Why did transfer to Michigan 

In Eastern Michigan’s 88-83 loss to No. 22 Michigan in Detroit on Friday night, Emoni Bates looked like the player who had once been hyped as a future NBA star, scoring 30 points and almost leading his team to an upset.

Bates, the No. 3 recruit in the 2021 class who played at Memphis last season, made 7 of his first 9 shots (12-for-19 overall) against the Wolverines in his first game since transferring.

During his sophomore season in high school, Bates was widely regarded as one of America’s top recruits, regardless of class.

Emoni Bates : Arrest | why did transfer to Michigan

Once hailed as the next Kevin Durant in grassroots circles, Bates reclassified from the 2022 class, where he was the top recruit, according to ESPN’s rankings, into the 2021 class (No. 3 per ESPN) before he signed with Penny Hardaway and Memphis months before the 2021-22 season.

But Bates, who was just 17 years old at the start of his freshman campaign, struggled in his first season of college basketball — 9.7 points, 39% shooting from the field, 2.3 turnovers per game — and decided to transfer. Because he landed at Eastern Michigan in his hometown of Ypsilanti.

However, he was arrested on two felony charges related to a gun being found in a vehicle he was driving near campus in September. A difficult chapter for the 6-foot-9 talent became more ominous after Eastern Michigan suspended him from all team activities as a result.

Also Eastern Michigan coach Stan Heath did not play Bates in the team’s season-opening game on Monday against Division II Wayne State, and the former Michigan State assistant would not say why he sat the sophomore.

By Rishabh

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