Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates gets 18 months probation

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan basketball star Emoni Bates was sentenced to 18 months of probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge.

The conviction will be expunged from Bates’ record if he completes probation successfully, The Detroit News reported. Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Patrick Conlin waived a fine, which could’ve been as much as $2,500.

Bates was arrested on felony gun charges after he was pulled over while driving in September. He pled down to the misdemeanor in October.

“I’m very pleased, given what happened that night,” said Bates’ attorney, Steven Haney.

Bates was charged with two felonies — carrying a concealed weapon and “altering ID marks” — on Sept. 19 after a traffic stop. Bates failed to stop at an intersection and a search turned up the weapon, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bates was reinstated to the Eastern Michigan basketball team and as a student Oct. 13 after prosecutors agreed to drop felony charges against him, Haney and the school said.

Bates was a top prospect out of high school who transferred to Eastern Michigan in August after playing his freshman season at Memphis. He was charged after police found a gun in a car he was driving. Haney has said the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

The 6-foot-9 guard is averaging 19.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists this season.

Bates became the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. The Detroit Pistons drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the draft.

Bates initially committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. He later de-committed and signed with Memphis and coach Penny Hardaway. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, missing several weeks with a back injury.

In 2019, as a high school 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 COVID-19 pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

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