Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Memphis star’s future with the team in question as per sources, his father says otherwise

The Memphis Tigers made a splash by signing high school phenom Emoni Bates, one of the most-hyped prep prospects in recent years. The talented prospect reclassified to enter school a year early, meaning he began as one of the country’s youngest college basketball players.

But for Bates and Memphis, the season has been disappointing. The Tigers (11-8, 5-4 American Athletic Conference) have a talented roster, but the team’s youth has been a weakness. And it looks like their season could get more challenging.

According to a report from Jake Fischer of the Bleacher Report, Bates’ future with the program has come into question. Fischer reported that Bates had previous contact with the Overtime Elite league, as well as other overseas opportunities. Those contacts could jeopardize his college eligibility.

Sources: Emoni Bates will not play in Memphis’ game at Cincinnati on Thursday, as his future with the program has suddenly come into question. Bates has been projected as a 2023 NBA Draft prospect and had previous contact with OTE and overseas opportunities.


Emoni Bates’ future in doubt with the Memphis Tigers

Emoni Bates could have his time with Memphis coming to an end.
Emoni Bates could have his time with Memphis coming to an end.

The news sent shockwaves around the college basketball world Tuesday night, as Bates could see his time with the Memphis Tigers come to an end if the report is true. It was originally announced that Bates would miss the upcoming game Thursday against the Cincinnati Bearcats because of a back injury, but now it looks as if there is a bigger story.

Although Bates reclassified to join the team a year early, he would still be ineligible to enter the NBA draft due to age restrictions that require players to have one year between their high school graduations. Bates was expected to be one of the prospects in the 2023 draft class.

Now, it appears as if his college status could be in question and basketball fans will have to see what develops. When reached for comment, Bates’ father refuted the story. Bates has been dealing with the back injury, and Bates’ father, Elgin, said the focus is on getting the talented guard healthy and that Bates “absolutely” plans to return to the Tigers.

“The father of Memphis freshman Emoni Bates told ESPN on Tuesday night that his son is dealing with pain in his back and ‘absolutely’ plans to get back on the basketball court with the Tigers when healthy,” according to a story by Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the developing story. If the report is true, Bates could be dismissed from the program and he would have to figure out his next move as far as preparing for the 2023 draft.

The guard, who turned 18 last week, is averaging 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 38.6%.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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