Ye's Donda Academy dropped from hoops events amid reports of closure

October 27, 2022, 12:39 PM

Two of high school basketball's most prominent showcases rescinded invitations to Donda Academy's boys' basketball program earlier this week following the recent antisemitic statements made by the school's founder, the artist formerly known as Kanye West.

The revoked invitations to the boys' basketball program by The Hoophall Classic and Kentucky Play-By-Play Classic were made prior to reports Thursday that the school had been closed "effective immediately."

"While there had been discussions about Donda Academy's participation in the 2023 Hoophall Classic, they will not be included in our upcoming announcement of the showcase's field," the event said in a statement.

Donda had been scheduled to play in the Kentucky Play-By-Play Classic on Dec. 11 in Louisville, but Scholastic Play-By-Play Classics founder Jeremy Treatman announced Donda was no longer in the field.

"In light of recent anti-semitic statements by Kanye West, we will no longer be hosting Donda Academy at this year's Play-By-Play Classics events, including the Kentucky Play-By-Play Classic," Treatman said in a statement. "Kanye's words and actions violate our values as a company and a country, and what we seek to ensure at all of our events -- a spirit of diversity, sportsmanship, inclusion, equity and mutual respect.

"While we are firm in our reasoning for this decision, it does not diminish our heartache and regret for Donda's hardworking student-athletes who will lose out the most as a result of Kanye's actions. By all accounts, they are an exemplary group of young men. Unfortunately, we cannot in good conscience host an organization founded and directed by Mr. West at our events."

Donda was also scheduled to participate in the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Florida. As of Thursday morning, the academy was still listed in the field, and attempts to reach the event's organizer were not successful.

For weeks, the Grammy Award-winning artist, who has legally changed his name to Ye, has made antisemitic comments in interviews and social media, including a Twitter post earlier this month that he would soon go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE," an apparent reference to the U.S. defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON. His posts led to his suspension from both Twitter and Instagram, though new posts have been made on Instagram this week since the suspension.

The issues facing Donda Academy are the latest fallout from Ye's controversial remarks. Adidas said Tuesday it was ending its partnership with Ye, while  Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald and  Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown both announced this week that they were leaving the Donda Sports agency.

Donda's boys' basketball team features Kentucky commit Robert Dillingham, who is ranked No. 8 in the ESPN 100, and top-50 seniors A.J. Johnson and Javonte Taylor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.