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Star basketball player Emoni Bates commits to the University of Memphis

Tiger basketball fans react to the news that the highly-rated forward will join Penny Hardaway’s team.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — It’s official.

Highly-rated basketball recruit Emoni Bates has committed to playing for the University of Memphis.

UofM Men’s head basketball coach Penny Hardaway’s recruiting class already was excellent, but with Bates joining another star player, Jalen Duren, many college basketball experts are saying the Tigers’ recruiting class will propel them into the preseason top 10, if not top 5.

Bates announced his decision on Instagram after also considering Michigan State, Oregon and the NBA’s G League. The Michigan native committed to Tom Izzo and the Spartans last year before changing his mind in April.

The 6-foot-8 guard has been called a generational talent and is projected as the No. 1 overall pick when he becomes eligible for the NBA draft after he turns 19 in 2023.