Emoni Bates, a former high school star who transferred from Memphis to Eastern Michigan this summer, was arrested Sunday night about two miles from campus in Superior Township, Michigan, after sheriff’s deputies discovered a firearm in a vehicle he was driving.
Derrick Jackson, the public information officer for the Superior Township, Washtenaw County sheriff’s office, told ESPN that officers “initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle which failed to stop” at an intersection.
Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and “altering ID marks” on a firearm. He was arraigned Monday, and his attorney, Steve Haney, asked that a plea of not guilty be entered on Bates’ behalf.
According to Haney, the judge agreed to a nonmonetary personal recognizance bond for Bates to be immediately released from jail. Bates’ next court date is scheduled for Oct. 6.
Haney told ESPN that the arrest Sunday night came after a routine traffic stop when Bates was driving a borrowed car that had a gun in it. “Reserve judgment on this,” Haney said via a statement. “There’s way more to the story. He borrowed someone’s car, was pulled over and a gun was located in the car.”
Per the Michigan penal code, a person charged with carrying a concealed weapon can face imprisonment “for not more than 5 years” and a fine up to $2,500. The charge of altering an ID on a weapon carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
Eastern Michigan issued a statement Monday afternoon that announced Bates would be suspended.
“We are aware of a situation involving men’s basketball student-athlete Emoni Bates,” the school said. “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, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was considered one of the elite basketball prospects in the country throughout his high school career, ranking No. 1 in the 2022 class until he reclassified last summer and ended up at No. 3 in 2021.
He originally committed to Michigan State in the summer of 2020 and then reopened his recruitment in April 2021, before reclassifying from 2022 to 2021 and committing to Memphis.
His lone season under coach Penny Hardaway was uneven. He missed 15 of 33 games because of a back injury that required him to return home to see a specialist, and he struggled when on the floor.
Bates averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Tigers.
WXYZ in Detroit initially reported Bates’ arrest.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.