Ex-Memphis Tiger Emoni Bates charged with 2 crimes

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich (AP) — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who frequents eastern Michigan, was charged with two counts after authorities said they found a firearm during a traffic stop.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Derrick Jackson said Bates officers were pulled over after he failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night. The firearm was discovered during the investigation and Bates was arrested.

“This is your first encounter with the law,” defense attorney Steve Haney said Monday in Bates’ indictment. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Magistrate Elisha Fink granted Haney’s request for personal bail, allowing Bates to leave the county jail without pay. Bates, who has a probable cause hearing on Oct. 6, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm.

“That kind of accusation is inherently dangerous,” Fink said.

Less than a month ago, Bates, 6-foot-3, was transferred to eastern Michigan to play for the Eagles, his hometown.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student-athletes,” said school spokesman Greg Steiner. “Eastern Michigan University takes all allegations very seriously. We are working to gather more details and will provide further comments when more information becomes available.”

Bates averaged nearly 10 points per game last season as a freshman in Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

Bates was the first sophomore to win the 2020 Gatorade National High School Basketball Player of the Year award, defeating Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit selected Cunningham as No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, then uncommitted and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in both games of the NCAA Memphis Tournament.

Bates announced in April that he was leaving the school and later said he would decide between Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, Louisville and Eastern Michigan.

In 2019, as a rookie, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to the state title and was named Michigan Division 1 Player of the Year by the Associated Press. His second season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his senior year of high school.

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