basketball Edit

Florida Man: Can Kanye West's high school live up to the hype?

Kanye West
Kanye West (AP Images)

I touched on Kanye West’s upstart prep school in this week’s roundtable, and I set the over/under on seasons played at 2.5 – and then promptly took the under. A day later, I’m feeling even more optimistic about that hypothetical bet.

There seems to be some level of unrest surrounding Donda Academy Prep School already, as the father of five-star point guard Robert Dillingham recently took to Facebook to voice some … uhhh ... concerns about how the institution is handling his son.


RELATED: Roundtable on Kanye West's Donda Academy Prep School

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150


Robert Dillingham
Robert Dillingham (

It’s impossible to validate the claims made in the post, and there are always two sides to every story. An interview request sent to the lone email address listed on the school’s website was not returned. But everything about West’s school feels unstable at best.

Donda Academy has a lot going for it. West’s brand and deep pockets, along with the backing of adidas, is a strong combination. The school is certainly not having any trouble recruiting players, as a number of high-profile recruits - including Dillingham and fellow national prospects Zion Cruz, Jalen Hooks and Jahki Howard - have all committed to move to L.A. to attend the school after being recruited via Instagram by West himself.

That said, maybe you’ve heard that the school’s founder has a bit of a track record of starting projects and never finishing them. Remember his album Yandhi? Or ...

**The joint album with Drake that produced billboards in L.A., but was never actually recorded?

**That weird video game, too.

**West’s most recent musical project was released as an unfinished product.

Looking further at Donda Academy, the school’s unverified Instagram account feels more like the tease for a merch drop than it does a prep school account, and the official website’s interface is odd, if not nonsensical. There’s also no phone number for the school available online. Point is, for every one thing working in the favor of the school’s survival there are two that suggest it may not be long for this world.

One high-profile and respected grassroots basketball coach called the school “madness” via text this week, and another told me it was all “last minute and unorganized.”

I’m rooting for Donda Academy to succeed. The more avenues for education the better, after all. West certainly has the money, power and pull to provide kids with a world-class experience. The 17-year old version of me would have crawled over glass and hitchhiked to L.A. to attend if Kanye DM’d me and invited me to enroll.

That said, West’s school is starting to feel like many of his recent projects: high on hype and low on predictability.



I admittedly could be getting a bit ahead of myself here, so I reserve the right to flip this pick to Kentucky should things change following Bona’s scheduled visit to UCLA in late October. That said, the Bruins seem to have positioned themselves well here. The fact that Mick Cronin holds the final-visit card could come into play here.

Bona is set to announce his decision shortly after he wraps things up in Westwood on the weekend of Oct. 23. So, while the four-star prospect looked like a near Kentucky lock roughly a month ago, the winds of change seem to be blowing west. Logging this pick now is a bit risky, obviously, as Bona’s UCLA visit doesn’t even begin for weeks. Still, it’s starting to feel as though the bulk of the Bruins’ task down the stretch is simply “don’t screw this up.”

We’ll check back post-visit, but for now I’ll go out on a bit of a limb and be the first to log a UCLA FutureCast for Bona.