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Kanye West & Donda Academy Grace 'SLAM' Magazine Cover

Source: SLAM / Slam Magazine

Ye and his love for basketball is no secret, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that West is involved in youth hoops. Thanks to SLAM Magazine, we are getting up close and personal with his stacked Donda Academy basketball team.

Kanye West, who is currently living out his best life with his new barbie doll Julia Fox in Paris for Fashion Week, let his team full of the country’s next crop of basketball talent do all the talking, thank God. In the interview, the young hoopers talked about playing for Ye, bringing his vision to life and what it means to be the building blocks for the Chicago rapper’s prep school’s basketball program.

The team is comprised of notable high school prospects Jalen Hooks, Jahki Howard, Chuck Bailey, Braeden Moore, Robert Dillingham, Zion Cruz, JJ Taylor, Brandon White, Omarion Bodrick, Seven Bahati, and Bryce Baker. In the interview, Hooks revealed most of the players were already well acquainted with each other through social media or when they played against each other. “We had to make sure it was the right position for us [with] so many of the top players playing with each other,” told the basketball publication.

The decision to head to the school located in Simi Valley, CA, wasn’t an easy choice for some of the players who faced criticism for leaving their hometown to play basketball for Ye’s squad. “A lot of my teammates, when they left [their hometowns], they had some bad reactions,” Braeden Moore, a Nashville Tennessee native, revealed. “People called them clout chasers and said the [school] offered them money,” he further added.

As for the usually very hands-on Mr. West, the players revealed that even though he is not there physically, his presence which he famously rapped, is a “blessing,” is felt. Yeezy checks in to make sure his players are fairing well academically as well as athletically. He even speaks with them one-on-one to check up on them when he’s not busy styling his “girlfriend” Julia Fox from head to toe.

“I remember watching JJ [Taylor] talk on the phone with him for the first time,” Shayla Scott, the school’s Vice President and Director of Athletics, said. “That was really cool that he took that time, and obviously, they share a bond of [being] from Chicago together.”

“In actuality, anybody can do school this way,” she further added. “But, to know that we’re doing it because of the support we have from Ye and all the parents and players, I think is really, honestly, going to build for future years.”

It sounds like Ye is building a powerhouse at the Donda Academy.

Photo: SLAM / Slam Magazine

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