Video: Emoni Bates highlightsGatorade's first sophomore Player of the Year in action.
Bates received the news via a wave of tweets from professional athletes, including Jayson Tatum and Dwyane Wade.
A press release distributed by Gatorade emphasized that the award recognizes not only athletic excellence but high standards in the classroom and exemplary character.
The 6-foot-9 wing led Lincoln to a 19-3 record this season, averaging 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. He has surpassed 1,300 career points in just two seasons.
Bates is seen as a potentially generational player, appearing 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.
Bates impact goes deeper than basketball as his presence has also been felt in his local community. He volunteers locally as part of an elementary school literacy outreach campaign and as a youth basketball coach. He has also donated his time collecting clothes and shoes to give to community groups.
The phenom also provides entertainment to his local community, including a February game where he piled up 63 points
and 21 rebounds in a 108-102 double overtime win over Chelsea.
Bates joins notable winners including Chris Webber (1991), Kobe Bryant (1996), Alonzo Mourning (1998), LeBron James (2002 and 2003), Dwight Howard (2004), Kevin Love (2007) and Bradley Beal (2011) among others.