Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates was charged with two gun-related felonies after a traffic stop on Sunday night.
The former high school hoops star, once one of the top prospects in the country, was pulled over after failing to stop at an intersection in Superior Township, Mich. Police found a gun in the 18-year-old’s car.
Bates is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm.
His lawyer, Steve Haney, said neither the vehicle nor the gun belong to Bates, and entered a plea of not guilty. Bates was released and has a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 6.
“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney told the Associated Press. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”
Bates is preparing for his first season with Eastern Michigan, where he transferred after playing with Memphis last year.
Bates became a high school sensation in leading Ypsilanti Lincoln to a Michigan state title as a freshman in 2019 and became the first sophomore to win Gatorade national player of the year honors. He famously reclassified to join the class of 2021, skipping a year of high school. Initially, the 6-foot-9 guard committed to play for Michigan State before opting instead to play for Penny Hardaway at Memphis.
As a freshman, he average just under 10 points while battling injuries with the Tigers.
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