When LeBron James speaks, the basketball world usually stops and listens. They might want to pay close attention to his latest tweet, as the four-time MVP just endorsed one of the best high school recruits in the country.
On Thursday afternoon, James tweeted “Emoni Bates up next.” The fact that he’s already tweeting about Bates shows just how much potential the Ypsi Prep Academy star has.
Bates, the No. 2 recruit in the 2022 class, is competing in the Peach Jam tournament this week in Georgia. On Wednesday, he dropped 19 points in his first Elite Youth Basketball League game of the session.
The 6-foot-9 forward returned to Bates Fundamentals after leaving for Team Final back in May. Although his team came up short in both their contests on Wednesday, James is evidently impressed by Bates’ skillset.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 15, 2021
Bates was considered the top recruit in his class for the past few years, but he was recently dethroned by Jalen Duren because of a recent rough patch.
“Formerly committed to Michigan State, Bates can get off a shot whenever and however he wants and he’s an elite scorer,” Eric Bossi of 247Sports wrote. “However, he also looks to have hit a bit of a roadblock in his development since we last updated the 2022 rankings in November of 2020.”
That rough patch might be over for Bates, who will get to showcase his talent on Friday against the Georgia Stars.
If Bates is really “up next” like LeBron says he is, then he’ll need to show out at the Peach Jam tournament.