On Tuesday, Kanye West announced plans to open Donda Academy in honor of his late mom. It will be a 60-student private school near Simi Valley, which will offer grades kindergarten through 12th.
Kanye West Forming High School Super Team
The school will be tuition-free for the students who are selected to attend. In keeping up with today’s student-athlete culture, Donda Academy is already loading up on elite basketball talent to play a national schedule.
Donda Academy Recruits:
5 Star – Jahki Howard (2024)
5 Star – Robert Dillingham (2023)
4 Star – Jalen Hooks (2023)
4 Star – Zion Cruz (2022)
There are early rumblings that a game between Sierra Canyon and Donda Academy is being set up at Staples Center, per Yahoo Sports pic.twitter.com/Hd6JUAxKhh
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 7, 2021
Following the announcement of the school, three high-profiles transfers, including 2024 five-star forward Jahki Howard — who’ll be taking his talents from the Atlanta-area Norcross High School across country — have committed to Kanye’s new institution of higher learning.
Howard currently has 16 Division 1 offers from schools like Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Georgia and Georgetown.
— Overtime (@overtime) October 5, 2021
Howard reportedly will be joined by 2022 four-star point guard Zion Cruz of The Patrick School in New Jersey. Cruz is rumored to be split 50/50 in deciding between accepting a scholarship offers from Memphis and Auburn. They are just a few of 20 D-1 schools that have offered the talented floor general.
— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) October 6, 2021
West also received a transfer commitment from 2023 five-star point guard Robert Dillingham of the Combine Academy, who’s being predicted as a North Carolina commit.
West and Donda Academy may not be done adding elite talent, as they’re also linked to 2022 five-star Duke commit Kyle Filipowski, a 6-11 sweet-shooting center from Wilbraham & Monson Academy located in Massachusetts.
Donda Academy transfers Jahki Howard, Zion Cruz and Robert Dillingham have received a follow from @KanyeWest on Instagram and changed their profile pics to a black icon.
Interestingly, 2022 Duke commit Kyle Filipowski and unsigned 2023 four-star Gus Yalden have done the same. pic.twitter.com/yiY1wJSbZv
— Jacob Polacheck (@JacobPolacheck) October 6, 2021
2023 four-star center/forward Gus Yalden of IMG Academy, a Big Ten recruit (Wisconsin) will also be joining Kanye’s High School Super Team. Those five players alone could complete on the national stage right now.
Kanye Vs. LeBron High School Wars
Kanye’s had his battles with some of the titans of the fashion industry, the entertainment world and the music game and held his own. Now he’s trying to burst LeBron James’ high school basketball bubble.
Donda Academy will look to start an in-state rivalry with California prep basketball power Sierra Canyon, where LeBron James Jr., aka Bronny, currently attends and Zaire Wade, son of former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade attended until graduation in 2020.
Rumors are swirling around a big matchup between the two to take place at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles in the near future.
Imagine the star power oozing from the building that night. Yeezy, ‘Bron and a host of other Hollywood celebrities in attendance. Teenagers balling with hundreds of thousands of dollars in NIL money already lined up. This isn’t your grandfather’s high school basketball anymore.
Kanye West is reportedly opening a prep school outside of LA to rival Sierra Canyon, per @YahooSports:
Donda Academy 🏫
Backed by Adidas, Donda Academy has already landed 4-star Jalen Hooks & 5-star Robert Dillingham.
Two recruits said Kanye recruited them personally on IG. pic.twitter.com/NeRxbl79uQ
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 6, 2021
New Trend In Education & Athletics?
Adidas is sponsoring the basketball team. Could this be a new trend Kanye is starting? Bored billionaires starting schools, loading up on five-star talent and destroying teams all over the country before they enter a D-1 college, G-League, or go overseas before arriving in the NBA.
Kanye says it’s not all about basketball.
“The DONDA ACADEMY MISSION using an ethic of integrity and care, DONDA ACADEMY prepares students to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators by providing them with a world-class education that includes a rigorous core curriculum, and an emphasis on sustainability, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving,” a statement released by Yeezy’s Team said.
Hoops will undoubtedly be the driving force behind the school and why it will probably be on ESPN quite often.
This Is How You Make A Year Count
What a year it’s been for rap mogul Kanye West. First he constantly delayed the release of his highly anticipated album “Donda,” titled after his late mom Donda West.
He even made the entire ordeal a marketing extravaganza and full-scale spectacle, moving into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium while finishing the album, while also hosting multiple listening parties at the home of the Atlanta Falcons. He even held one at Soldier Field in his hometown of Chicago.
His most recent accomplishement is scoring a Diamond-certified song for the first time in his illustrious career. That happened just days after the Donda album went gold.
— Soulwell Publishing Group (@SoulwellPublish) October 7, 2021
The man can sell out a stadium, and he’s a magnet for new hustles. Yeezy’s latest venture will cultivate some of the greatest athletic talents and expose them to a unique educational and athletic experience. Not sure what kind of basketball culture Donda Academy will have, but the lure of being affiliated with Kanye West was too strong for these ballers to resists.
West joins the likes of LeBron James (I Promise School in Akron, Ohio), Jalen Rose (Leadership Academy in Detroit, Michigan) and David Robinson (Carver Academy in Texas back in 2001) as athletes/rappers who’ve opened their own schools.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 1, 2021
It’s sort of ironic that the rappers’ first three albums “The College Dropout,” “Late Registration,” and “Graduation” all talked about getting a higher education, and now Ye has opened his own for the betterment of just that.
Kudos to Kanye West on this positive, groundbreaking move.