Sophomore Emoni Bates wins Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year award


Emoni Bates, considered one of the top high school hopefuls since LeBron James, won the national basketball player of the year award Gatorade Boys on Tuesday, becoming the first sophomore to win the award.

Bates, a 6’9 ” wing with smooth attacking play and sniping ability, is ranked # 1 in ESPN 25 for class 2022. Second year student at Lincoln High (Ypsilanti, Michigan) is considered the best high school prospect in the country regardless of class.

Because he was unable to receive the award in person, Bates was surprised at the honor via tweets from Jayson Tatum and Dwyane Wade.

Bates won Michigan’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a rookie after driving Lincoln to his first state championship. He averaged 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 interceptions in 2018-19.

In the second year, Bates led Lincoln to a 19-3 record and a place in the final of the District 18 State tournament against Ann Arbor Huron, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On the home circuit, Bates played for the BATES Fundamentals program and averaged 32.2 points and 10.0 rebounds in last summer’s Nike Peach Jam.

Sophomore Emoni Bates of Lincoln High School (Ypsilanti, Michigan) is # 1 in ESPN 25 for the class of 2022 and is considered the best high school prospect in the country regardless of class. Courtesy of Bri Lewerke / D1Circuit

Bates, who turned 16 in late January, arguably had the best game of his career on February 18, when he finished with 63 points and 21 rebounds in a double overtime victory over Chelsea.

This is the 35th year that Gatorade has presented the award, and Bates is the first player to have the opportunity to win it three times. James, Greg Oden and Brandon Knight have won it twice each, while other former winners include Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Alonzo Mourning and Ben Simmons.

James Wiseman won the award in 2018-19.


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