Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who attends Eastern Michigan, has been charged with two felonies after authorities say they found a firearm during a traffic stop.
Washtenaw County Sheriff spokesman Derrick Jackson said deputies Bates was pulled over after he failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night. The firearm was discovered during the investigation and Bates was taken into custody.
“This is his first brush with the law,” defense attorney Steve Haney said Monday at Bates’ arraignment. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”
Magistrate Elisha Fink granted Haney’s request for a personal bond, allowing Bates to leave the county jail without a payment. Bates, who has a probable cause hearing on Oct. 6, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and alterting identification marks on a firearm.
“These kind of charges are inherently dangerous,” Fink said.
Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles.
“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” school spokesman Greg Steiner said. “Eastern Michigan University takes all allegations very seriously. We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”
Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at 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 Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham 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, later de-committed 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 Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.
Bates announced in April that he was leaving the school and later said he would decide among Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, Louisville and Eastern Michigan.
In 2019 as a freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.