Kanye West launching Donda Academy with commitments from top HS basketball players Jalen Hooks, Robert Dillingham

·3-min read

Kanye West is expanding his empire from music to fashion to ... a prep school in Southern California to rival nearby Sierra Canyon High School. 

West is reportedly opening a prep school in Simi Valley, California, (30 minutes outside of Los Angeles) and is focusing on building a high school prep team to rival the stacked Sierra Canyon Trailblazers.

West’s Donda Academy will be backed by Adidas and has already landed Jalen Hooks, a 6-foot-7 junior out of Indiana with offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois and more.

“It’s just one of those things you can’t pass up,” Hooks told the Indianapolis Star's Kyle Neddenriep. “It was more of a family decision, too. All of us just felt like it was a chance to reach my full potential and grow and get ready for the college level.”

Also joining Hooks is five-star junior Robert Dillingham out of North Carolina. Dillingham is a favored North Carolina lean and holds other offers from Texas, Memphis, Tennessee and more. Other players linked to the new Donda Academy Prep team are Jahki Howard out of Georgia and five-star Zion Cruz out of New Jersey.

No head coach for the team has been named yet.

Jalen Hooks, a 6-foot-7 junior from Indiana, has committed to Kanye West's Donda Academy. Hooks has offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois and more. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jalen Hooks, a 6-foot-7 junior from Indiana, has committed to Kanye West's Donda Academy. Hooks has offers from Kansas, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois and more. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kanye West personally recruiting for Donda Academy; Staples Center game in works

West hasn’t shied away from recruiting for his new prep team either. Two high-profile recruits told Yahoo Sports that they have been followed by West on Instagram and have direct messages from the rapper asking them to join his prep team.

“It’s crazy that he reached out,” one player told Yahoo Sports. “But he’s building a good team with players that I want to play with and it’s out in LA in a good market so it’s something me and my family have to think about.”

There are early rumblings that a game between powerhouse Sierra Canyon and Donda Academy is being set up at Staples Center sometime in February. That could be an opportunity to see other five-star prospects like LeBron James’ son, Bronny, and one of the top seniors in the country, Amari Bailey, hit the court.

West has been spotted at Sierra Canyon games in the past where he and his estranged wife, Kim Kardashian West, and her sister, Kendall Jenner, have supported Scotty Pippen Jr. and other kids of NBA royalty. 

For West, it was music, fashion, and now high school basketball that he’s choosing to invest in. For elite high school basketball players, they now have many options ... including West’s Donda Academy.

Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Larsa Pippen at a Sierra Canyon basketball game in 2018, watching Scotty Pippen Jr. (Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Larsa Pippen at a Sierra Canyon basketball game in 2018, watching Scotty Pippen Jr. (Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
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