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LeBron James Praises Dior Johnson, Emoni Bates for Performances at Nike EYBL

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 15, 2021

YPSILANTI, MI - DECEMBER 09:  Ypsilanti Lincoln Railsplitter sophomore Emoni Bates warms up before the start of the game against the River Rouge Panthers during the Ypsi Tip Off Classic on December 9, 2019 at the Eastern Michigan Convocation University Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LeBron James has his eye on the next generation of basketball stars, and he praised both Dior Johnson and Emoni Bates at the Nike EYBL on Thursday:

LeBron James @KingJames

Watching EYBL 17U Vegas Elite vs TTO and Dior Johnson just hit 2 TOUGH shots down the stretch the seal the W! And I mean TOUGH. Kid can go!

LeBron James @KingJames

Emoni Bates up next! ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ค <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EYBL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EYBL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NikeEYB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NikeEYB</a>

Johnson starred for Vegas Elite, while Bates plays for Bates Fundamentals at the EYBL.

Each of these young players are among the biggest names in high school basketball, and both are rated among the top 10 in the 2022 recruiting class, per 247Sports. Johnson is the No. 9 player in the country and headed to Oregon, while Bates was a Michigan State commit before reconsidering his options in May.

While LeBron is clearly a fan of the sport, he has been tuning in to the high school game more often with his son coming up the ranks. Bronny James is currently considered the No. 30 overall player in the 2023 recruiting class, per 247Sports.

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