Emoni Bates and LeBron James Jr., aka Bronny, faced off in a highly anticipated AAU game on Saturday, with James' Strive For Greatness team beating Bates Fundamentals 93-73 at Pacers Athletic Center in Westfield, Indiana.
Daniels wrote that Bates could be the best freshman prospect since LeBron James and offered the following scouting report:
"Bates was sensational, showing his full scoring arsenal. From breaking down defenders off the dribble to nailing tough pull-up jumpers from mid-range and three to showing exceptional vision and passing ability, Bates did it all. His 43-point, 11-rebound outing was effortless. It was likely just a precursor of what his high school career will look like."
Bates, a 6'7" forward, received much praise from onlookers, including Eric Bossi of Rivals and Kyle Tucker of The Athletic:
Bronny scored 12 points and hit a trio of three-pointers, per Steve Helwagen of 247Sports. The 6'2" guard, who plays for Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California, is ranked 24th on Coast 2 Coast Preps' list of the top class of 2023 recruits. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports said Bronny "[possesses] a smooth shooting stroke and handle."
Of note, he hit this nice step-back jumper that James, who attended his son's game, approved:
The four-time NBA MVP was fully involved in his son's team's win in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Tournament, per Forde:
"He walked the sideline giving post-up advice, instructing defenders, calling traps and directing inbounds plays. On a couple of occasions he hectored the officials ('That is NOT a travel!' he barked). He did a quick cameo as an athletic trainer, talking to a player about his quadricep while the kid was working on an issue with his right leg. He even did some baseline security work, chiding people for getting too close when a player went sprawling out of bounds into the throng that surrounded the court.
"He did everything but drive the team van."
Whatever James did worked, as his son's team rolled to a 20-point win.