In October, Kanye West recruited top basketball players in the nation to his DONDA Academy. Now in January, Ye and his squad are covering SLAM.


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The feature story highlights a familiar story of how the top stars found out about the school after representation for Ye reached out to their families. “We had to make sure it was the right position for us [with] so many of the top players playing with each other,” says Jalen Hooks.

Hooks would also reveal most of the players knew each other from Instagram or playing against each other.

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According to Yahoo! Sports, Kanye’s DONDA Academy is being petitioned to compete with Sierra Canyon High School, the Southern California program that is the basketball home of numerous young stars of the past and present, including Bronny James.

DONDA Academy, a prep school, will be located in Simi Valley, California, which is 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles. DONDA Academy is sponsored by Adidas and will be led on the basketball court by Hooks, a 6’7″ junior from the state of Indiana that is being recruited by Kansas, Michigan State, Illinois, and more schools.

Jalen Hooks
Jalen Hooks

“It’s just one of those things you can’t pass up,” Hooks said to the Indianapolis Star. “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.”

Hooks is not the only star to join Team DONDA, five star junior Robert Dillingham of North Carolina is also joining the team. Jahki Howard from Georgia and Zion Cruz of New Jersey are also believed to head to DONDA Academy.

Robert Dillingham
Robert Dillingham