Bates, 18, was the No. 1 basketball prospect in the state of Michigan, and on Monday, the Ypsilanti native went before a judge facing two felony counts.
Bates has been suspended from all practice and playing privileges, as is department protocol, when something of this nature occurs. The university said that they take allegations of this nature very seriously.
The star basketball player on the court appeared via Zoom from the Washtenaw County jail as Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering the identifying marks of a firearm.
The Magistrate underscored the severity of the charges even for a first-time offender.
“The nature of these particular charges are inherently dangerous,” said Magistrate Elisha Fink. “That’s why we have laws regulating these kinds of things so that people have training and licensing.”
Police say they found the gun during a traffic stop Sunday (Sept. 18) night. Bates was behind the wheel when it got pulled over for failing to stop at the intersection of Nottingham Drive and East Clark Road in Superior Township.
The once-top recruit played for Lincoln High School and Ypsilanti prep academy before committing to Michigan State. The 18-year-old reclassified and took his talents to Memphis, where he played his freshman season for the Tigers under head coach Anfernee Penny Hardaway.
Bates transferred back home to Eastern Michigan University in August after disagreements with coach Penny.
Eastern Michigan University’s Athletic Department released a statement saying, “We are aware of a situation involving men’s basketball student-athlete Emoni Bates. Eastern Michigan University takes all allegations of this nature very seriously. Per department policy, he has been suspended automatically from practice and playing privileges until the legal process is resolved. Because this is an on-going legal matter, the university will have no further comment at this time.”
Bates pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. He was granted a personal bond, meaning he won’t have to pay any money to be released from jail.
Bates is back in court on Oct. 6 for a probable cause conference.
Watch the full arraignment below.