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No. 1 basketball prospect Emoni Bates picks Michigan State

June 30 (UPI) -- Emoni Bates -- the No. 1 boys high school basketball prospect in the class of 2022 -- has decided to attend Michigan State.

Bates, 16, made his verbal commitment to play for the Spartans Monday on ESPN.

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"I'm not sure what the future may hold, but as I do know right now, I will be committing to Michigan State University," Bates said.

Bates averaged 31.6 points, nine rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a sophomore last season at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, Mich. Bates said Spartans coach Tom Izzo has recruited him since he was in seventh grade.

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"I know they're showing that their love is genuine, and they've just been here for a long time," Bates said. "I'm big on loyalty, and they showed me all loyalty. So I got to show them love back."

Bates also had offers from Michigan, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, DePaul and Kentucky. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward is the No. 1 player in both the 2022 ESPN 60 and Rivals 150 prospect rankings.

The Spartans received commitments from No. 66 Pierre Brooks in 2021 and No. 40 Mady Sissoko and No. 64 A.J. Hoggard in 2020.

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Michigan State posted a 22-9 record in 2019-2020 and was the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament before the college basketball post-season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cassius Winston led the Spartans with 18.6 points and 5.8 assists per game and is expected to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft, which has been postponed until October.

Bates plans to attend a preparatory school next season in Ypsilanti.

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