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High school basketball: What's next for Emoni Bates after decommitment from Michigan State? - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: What's next for Emoni Bates after decommitment from Michigan State?
Emoni Bates, the No. 1 prospect in high school basketball's Class of 2022, announced Friday via Instagram that he is no longer committed to Michigan State and considering options at the college and pro level.

Bates was a MaxPreps All-American this year despite an abbreviated season at Ypsi Prep Academy (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and has long been considered the top player in the rising senior class according to 247Sports.


As a sophomore, the 6-foot-8 wing led Lincoln (Ypsilanti) to a 19-3 record, averaging 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.

Bates appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated at just 15 years old after leading Lincoln to its first state title in program history as a freshman, averaging 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest.

In 2019-20, Bates became the first sophomore to win Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors. He was also named a first team MaxPreps All-American after earning fourth team MaxPreps All-American honors as a freshman.

So what's next for Bates?

A jump to the professional level seems to be the most likely move. Multiple paths for high school prospects to bypass college have emerged, including the NBA G League, which showcased straight-out-of-high-school talents Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Isaiah Todd this year.

Should he elect to play in college, DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky and Michigan could be options since they were involved in his recruitment prior to committing to Michigan State.
Emoni Bates in action for Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) during a January 2020 game at Eastern Michigan University.
Photo by Scott Hasse
Emoni Bates in action for Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) during a January 2020 game at Eastern Michigan University.

10 extreme high schools as seen via Google Earth - HIGHSCORE
10 extreme high schools as seen via Google Earth
Video: 10 extreme high schools seen from Google Earth
These campuses are big and small and across the corners of the U.S.

The view from Google Earth allows a different perspective - a bird's eye look. It allows you to search some of the most extreme locations in the world.

MaxPreps has already taken a look at 10 unique high schools in the U.S., as well as schools of players in the Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance," and 10 high school football stadiums named after NFL players.

The latest installment in the series dives into some of the extreme schools in the United States.

School at lowest elevation
West Shores Academy (Salton City, Calif.): In the 1960s, Salton City was a tourist attraction capable of housing 40,000 residents on 12,000 lots, according to Wikipedia. Most of those lots are now empty and the town has a population of about 4,000. It is located 125 feet below sea level.
School at highest elevation
Lake County (Leadville, Colo.): Believed to be the school at the highest elevation in the United States at 9,983 feet above sea level.
Westernmost school that plays football
Gold Beach (Ore.): With its football field bordering the beach and the Pacific Ocean, Gold Beach is the westernmost school in the contiguous United States that plays football.
Northernmost school in United States
Barrow (Alaska): At 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Barrow is the northernmost school in the United States. It gets approximately 20 hours of daylight the spring/summer months. It is located 5,642 miles from the southernmost school in the contiguous United States, Key West.
Southernmost school in contiguous United States
Key West (Fla.):
Located at the tip of the Florida Keys, Key West plays in a league with schools from Miami. Key West is actually closer to Havana, Cuba (106 miles) than it is to its league opponents (160 miles).
Southernmost school in 50 states
Ka'u (Pahala, Hawaii):
Located toward the southern end of the Big Island in Hawaii, Ka'u is about 50 miles south of Key West, the southernmost school in the contiguous United States.
School with largest enrollment
Brooklyn Tech (Brooklyn, N.Y.):
At nine stories tall, Brooklyn Tech houses the largest enrollment of any school in the nation with over 8,000 students. The athletic facilities are located several miles away with a gymnasium and football field.
Smallest School that plays Football
Banner County (Harrisburg, Neb.):
A school that plays 6-man football, Banner County is believed to be the smallest school in the nation that fields a football team. According to the Nebraska School Activities Association, Banner County has nine boys enrolled in the school.
Easternmost school
Shead Memorial (Eastport, Maine):
Located on an island in eastern Maine, Shead Memorial is just a few miles from the eastern border of the United States and Canada. Shead fields basketball, soccer and baseball teams.
Westernmost school
Unalaska (Alaska):
Located on the Aleutian Islands, Unalaska is close to the international dateline. It does not field a football team, but it does field basketball, soccer and volleyball teams. Unalaska is 5,737 miles, by land, from the easternmost school, Shead Memorial.

California high school sports: Indoor contests like basketball, volleyball back in play after legal settlement - HIGHSCORE
California high school sports: Indoor contests like basketball, volleyball back in play after legal settlement
What works outdoors might just work indoors as well. Two weeks after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a change to youth sports guidelines that paved the way for outdoor sports, including high school football, the door was opened Thursday for a return to indoor sports, namely basketball, volleyball and wrestling.

A legal settlement with the state on Thursday removes major restrictions to the indoor contests, namely placing the sports in the most restrictive yellow tier. It allows all high school sports to reopen using similar restrictions and protocols as professional and collegiate sports. The settlement came in response to a lawsuit filed last month from two San Diego high school football players and their attorney Stephen C. Grebing and managing partners Wingert Grebing of San Diego.

"This will open things open for youth sports — high school and youth leagues — around the state to resume play," said Scripps Ranch (San Diego) football coach Marlon Gardinera during a press conference. "And not just football, but indoor sports, too. So basketball, volleyball and wrestling athletes can have a season too."

Gardinera and his son were just two plaintiffs of several lawsuits filed up and down the  state over the last several weeks. All included high school athletes and their parents, citing "there is no medical evidence that competing in team sports is safe for college and/or professional athletes but not high school athletes."

The settlement requires counties to reach the same threshold as football (under 14 COVID new COVID cases per 100,000) — as of Tuesday, 54 of the state's 58 counties met that standard — and testing is mandatory. The state will pick up testing costs in three sports, rugby, water polo and football, but indoor sport athletes will have other options. Grebing and the Let Them Play CA offered free options that still need to be ironed out.

Newsom wouldn't comment on the settlement, but state Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly confirmed new guidelines would be released in the next few days. California Interscholastic Federation Executive Director Ron Nocetti said he would "reserve comment until we see the agreement."

Each county, as always, can OK or reject the new guidelines, even if the state accepts them.

“Indoors, (the requirements are) going to be pretty rigid,” Grebing said. “But they’re going to be allowed to play.”
A settlement that paves the way for basketball and other indoors sports in California was reached on Thursday.
File photo by Greg Jungferman
A settlement that paves the way for basketball and other indoors sports in California was reached on Thursday.
That's all a number of athletes and coaches wanted to hear, including 16-year San Francisco prep coach Randy Bessolo. He and Miramonte (Orinda) boys basketball coach Chris Laviotis started the Bay Area Basketball Coaches Alliance three weeks after conferring with the Golden State High School Football Coaches Community, which led the charge to get outdoor sports off the ground two weeks ago.

"We just followed their model," Bessolo said.

That plus the monumental efforts of Moorpark boys basketball coach Ryan Moore and continued laborious work of the Let Them Play Ca group, led by founder Brad Hensley, helped get the settlement done.

"This is a major win for the youth of California," Bessolo said. "Playing youth sports has been proven to be safe and the risks of not playing are far greater than playing."

In a letter delivered Wednesday to Newsom's office, Let Them Play CA basketball leaders stated, "Now is the time. COVID-19 cases are drastically falling across the state. Vaccinations are nearing 10 million. People are dining indoors. Kids are going back to the classroom. Now is the time."

Thursday's news brought a lot of joy around the state.

"I haven't seen this many bright faces and happy smiles in a long time," Dublin boys basketball coach Tom Costello said.

Said Salesian College Preparatory (Richmond) coach Bill Mellis: "A month ago, I would have thought no way we're having a season. When outdoor sports were OK'd, there was a little light at the end of the tunnel, but I was still skeptical. Now? Today? Wow, things are moving so fast."

Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) star center Jalen Lewis, one of the top sophomores in the country, said "I'm definitely excited to put an O'Dowd jersey on again. Hopefully nothing unexpected happens for the next few weeks, because I was really hoping to at least play a little bit of my sophomore season."
California high school football: Freshman quarterback Elijah Brown leads Mater Dei past St. John Bosco - HIGHSCORE
California high school football: Freshman quarterback Elijah Brown leads Mater Dei past St. John Bosco
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) had to wait 504 days to gain a measure of revenge against its arch rival St. John Bosco (Bellflower) on Saturday night. It took a freshman quarterback in Elijah Brown, not even enrolled at the school the last time the teams met, to lead the way in a resounding 34-17 season-ending victory at Santa Ana Stadium. 

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound ninth-grader completed 14-of-23 passes for 202 yards and four touchdowns as the Monarchs led most of the way in one of the most anticipated games of the 2020-21 school year, fall, winter or spring.

St. John Bosco defeated Mater Dei 39-34 in the 2019 CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship game, and annually the two national powers meet to decide Trinity League and section crowns, that ultimately lead to possible state and national crowns. 

This one finished off a short six-week regular season with no playoffs planned due to the pandemic. Most saw it as the unofficial state championship. None of it seemed to phase Brown.

After the fall season was postponed until the spring, he was named the starter, becoming just the fourth freshman quarterback in school history to do so under legendary coach Bruce Rollinson. The others: JT Daniels, Matt Barkley and Todd Marinovich.

The moment wasn't too big, right from the start, as he directed the Monarchs on a 79-yard drive while completing 4-of-5 passes for 57 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown to four-star junior wide receiver CJ Williams, who made a sensational one-handed touchdown grab. That put Mater Dei up 7-0 with 6:46 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Elijah Brown had four touchdown passes to lead Mater Dei.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Quarterback Elijah Brown had four touchdown passes to lead Mater Dei.
The Braves answered quickly as three-star running back Jabari Bates showed off his speed and took it to the house from 66 yards out to even the score, 7-7.

After three-star junior defensive tackle Jairus Satele recorded a sack on third down to force a punt, sophomore quarterback Pierce Clarkson led St. John Bosco on a six-play, 57-yard drive capped off by a great throw to tight end Matayo Uiagalelei. The four-star sophomore and brother of three-year starting Bosco QB DJ Uiagalelei (now at Clemson) made a tremendous 26-yard touchdown catch to give the Braves a 14-7 lead on the last play of the first quarter.

That was the last lead for the the 2019 MaxPreps national champions.

Brown connected with Williams for a second time, this one a 26-yard touchdown with 11:10 left in the 2nd quarter to tie it up at 14. Mater Dei got the ball right back and it took Brown one play to give the Monarchs the lead for good with his third touchdown, a 64-yard strike to USC signee Kyron Ware-Hudson.
Mater Dei receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson hauls in a 64-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Mater Dei receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson hauls in a 64-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Chase Meyer connected on a 38-yard field goal with 2:04 left in the second quarter to put the Monarchs up 24-14 and three-star senior safety Shoes Brinkley intercepted Katin Houser in the end zone on the final play of the first half to keep Mater Dei up 10 at halftime. 

The Braves defense forced a three-and-out to start the second half Clarkson led the Braves down field, finished off with a 37-yard field goal by Andre Meono with 7:07 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 24-17.

On the next possession, St. John Bosco was called for three defensive pass interference penalties, one coming on fourth-and-two from the Braves 22. That set up Brown's fourth touchdown pass, a 13-yarder to Josiah Zamora to make it 31-17 with 2:58 left in the third.
Bosco's Jabari Bates rips off a 66-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Bosco's Jabari Bates rips off a 66-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Houser led the Bosco down the field and on the first play of the fourth quarter it looked like he was going to run it in for a score. But Quincy Craig punched the ball out right before he crossed the goal line, Jacob Kongaika recovered in the end zone, giving the Monarchs the ball back at their own 20.

The turnover seemed to deflate the Braves as well.

Five-star USC commit Domani Jackson iced the game for Mater Dei with just over five minutes left as he intercepted Houser, setting up a 42-yard field goal by Meyer, making it 34-17 with 3:31 left.

The Monarchs finished spring a perfect 5-0 while outscoring opponents, 208-57. St. John Bosco (5-1) suffered its first loss since since Oct. 25, 2019.

Expect both teams to be ranked in the Top 5 when the MaxPreps Top 25 football rankings are released during the summer. With the win, the Monarchs own the inside track to start at No. 1. Mater Dei and the Braves had split their last 10 games, with Bosco holding a slim 295-287 cumulative score edge.
Mater Dei receiver CJ Williams makes one of his two touchdown catches.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Mater Dei receiver CJ Williams makes one of his two touchdown catches.
Three Mater Dei defenders stuff a Bosco ballcarrier.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Three Mater Dei defenders stuff a Bosco ballcarrier.
Mater Dei players celebrate their season-ending victory over St. John Bosco on Saturday night.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Mater Dei players celebrate their season-ending victory over St. John Bosco on Saturday night.

MLB Draft: Top 5 high school middle infield prospects - HIGHSCORE
MLB Draft: Top 5 high school middle infield prospects
Video: 10 Extreme high schools via Google Earth
See these campuses that run north to south and east to west.

While high school outfielders will be the most coveted preps in next week's Major League Baseball Draft, the same can not be said for middle infielders.

High school shortstops have often been the prize at the top of the MLB draft with seven prep shortstops going No. 1 overall since Chipper Jones was the top pick in 1990. Only 14 preps have gone No. 1 overall since 1990, meaning half of them were shortstops.

This year, however, very few shortstops make the cut with one likely to be chosen in the first round. Additionally, some of the top prospects have given strong commitments to college, meaning they will likely be bypassed in a draft that is only five rounds long in favor of a player who is ready to sign and play.

Since there will be far fewer draft selections this year, MaxPreps is providing a truncated look at the top high school selections for the MLB Draft, scheduled for June 10-11. Instead of the usual Top 10, MaxPreps looks at the Top 5 players at six different positions. We've previously presented corner infielders and outfielders.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Ed Howard, Chicago Mt. Carmel (Chicago)
Easily the top high school shortstop prospect, Howard likely will stick at the position due to his strong and fluid fielding skills. Howard has also sported a solid bat after batting over .400 in one of the toughest leagues in the nation with 29 RBI and three home runs. Look for Howard to go somewhere in the middle of the first round. Projection: Top 15 pick.

Yohandy Morales, Braddock (Miami)
At 6-foot-4, Morales shows a lot of potential to be the type of big shortstop in the mold of an Alex Rodriguez or a Cal Ripkin Jr. His hitting skills have vastly improved, batting .321 with two home runs as a junior, but had boosted his totals to batting .500 with four home runs in nine games as a senior. Projection: Second round.

Drew Bowser, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
Bowser showed his power this spring when he hit grand slams in back-to-back games. Scouts project Bowser to be a power-hitting infielder in the major leagues, which could mean a move to third base at some point. Bowser has committed to Stanford and reportedly will play in college. With a five-round draft, teams may not waste a pick on a player committed to play in college. Nevertheless, Bowser is at least a second-round talent. Projection: Second or third round.

Cade Horton, Norman (Okla.)
Horton likely will have a decision if he gets drafted. He's already committed to play both football and baseball at the University of Oklahoma, but selection in the MLB draft could be a game-changer. Horton threw for 3,084 yards and ran for 1,149 for Norman. In baseball, he was the Gatorade State Player of the Year with a career .420 batting average. Like Bowser, Horton likely won't be drafted if he is serious about playing football in college. Projection: Third round.

Milan Tolentino, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)
The son of Jose Tolentino, a former MLB player and current MLB broadcaster, Milan Tolentino has been one of the top shortstops in Southern California for the past several years. He led his team to a Southern Section championship as a junior when he batted .391 and was named Southern Section Division 2 Player of the Year. He has signed to play at UCLA. Projection: Fourth round.