Eastern Michigan forward and former Memphis standout Emoni Bates apologized on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon after he officially pleaded down to a misdemeanor charge following last month’s arrest.
Bates was initially charged with two felony counts after he was arrested on weapons charges last month. He pleaded down to one misdemeanor charge of attempting to transport a loaded firearm in a vehicle, per The Detroit News. That charge will then be dismissed following probation.
“The crazy thing about living your life on stage is the inability to escape judgement, and experience the growing pains of life as a normal adolescent privately,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “I hold myself accountable for making a poor decision, and hope you can forgive me as I grow because this will not be my last mistake, however; a lasting stigma to remind me of the severity of such a mistake.
“I hope my mistake can inspire others to think before acting. Growth is a lifetime experience, I will harness the value within this lesson and continue to be of service to my community.”
Bates was stopped on Sept. 18 in Superior Township, Michigan, after police said he rolled through a stop sign. Bates then reportedly told police that there was marijuana and a handgun in the vehicle. Police said they then found a gun with a missing serial number under the driver’s seat.
His attorneys have said that Bates was driving a borrowed car and that the gun was not his. He was initially charged with “altering ID marks” on a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. Once his probation is complete, however, the remaining charge will be gone.
Bates, a former five-star Rivals.com recruit, averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds last season as a freshman at Memphis. The 18-year-old transferred to Eastern Michigan in August, and rejoined the team at practice earlier this month.
The Eagles, who compete in the Mid-American conference, will open their season on Nov. 7 against Wayne State.