Kanye West is expanding his empire to include private education. The “Hurricane” rapper is planning to open a school in California called the Donda Academy. The academy is named after West’s tenth studio album of the same name, Donda, though it also honors his late mother, Dr. Donda West, former professor and English department chair at Chicago State University.
Donda Academy appears to have a heavy focus on basketball, as four elite basketball prospects — Zion Cruz, Jahki Howard, Robert Dillingham, and Jalen Hooks — have reportedly committed to attending the academy. Billboard has reached out for comment.
“It’s just one of those things you can’t pass up,” Hooks said in an interview with 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.” Howard posted the news of his transfer to on his Instagram account, and wrote, “I will be moving to California and I will be transferring to Donda academy, I want to THANK YOU NORCROSS and the whole BLUE DEVIL FAMILY STILL WILL BE MY FAMILY. #donda”
The K-12 school will focus on “equipping students with an education that will last in the ever-changing world” and plans to find the “intersection between faith and the innovation of the future,” per the academy’s official website, donda.world.
“‘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,” the admissions portion of the website reads.
News of West opening up Donda Academy comes two weeks after the rapper was “eyeing” a plot of land located between Moorpark and Simi Valley in Los Angeles, according to the Simi Valley Acorn. The outlet reported that the school would feature “classrooms, labs, offices, a kitchen, restrooms, storage, a basketball court and an open field” for its students to use.
The rapper has dabbled in opening up educational institutions in the past — in October 2020, West posted footage from his Yeezy Christian Academy to his Twitter account, which featured its attendees sharing inspirational messages in a video titled, “Dear Future, I Still Believe in You.”
It is currently unclear when classes start for Donda Academy, though Yahoo Sports reports the school is discussing a possible game against Sierra Canyon School — where Lebron James’ son, Bronny James, attends — at the Staples Center for February 2022.