‘Donda Homecoming’ event featuring Ye West’s school, Simeon, Kenwood and Hillcrest not sanctioned by IHSA
A high school basketball event billed as Donda Homecoming scheduled for Feb. 5 at UIC’s Credit Union I Arena is currently selling tickets on Ticketmaster but hasn’t been sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association.
A high school basketball event — billed as ‘‘Donda Homecoming’’ — scheduled for Feb. 5 at UIC’s Credit Union 1 Arena is selling tickets on Ticketmaster but hadn’t been sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association as of Wednesday evening.
Tickets went on sale Tuesday, and prices range from $20 to $500.
Kenwood is scheduled to play Hillcrest in the opener, and Simeon will play Coronado (Nevada) in the second game. The sanctioning issues are the result of the headline game.
Donda Academy, which is in California and features Kenwood transfer JJ Taylor, is scheduled to play Chicago Prep, a high school and postgraduate school. Neither is in a state high school association. Donda Academy is named for the mother of musician Ye West, formerly known as Kanye West.
According to the IHSA, for an event to be approved, ‘‘all the competing schools would need to be a member of their state high school association or receive approval to participate from their state high school association.’’
IHSA spokesman Matt Troha said the Donda Homecoming event applied for sanctioning Tuesday ‘‘but did not have all the adequate information for us to act on the sanctioning request.’’
It’s unlikely Simeon, Kenwood and Hillcrest would play in the event if the IHSA doesn’t sanction it. According to several sources, sanctioning requests generally are sent in many months before an event takes place.
Darren Duncan, who is running the event, said he’s confident it will be sanctioned. It is scheduled to be shown live on NBC Sports Chicago and streamed on Peacock.
‘‘We have done this before with [the National Federation of State High School Associations], and it hasn’t been a problem,’’ Duncan said. ‘‘The reason why this has taken longer is not because we are incompetent. It’s because the schools in the event changed and the policies changed.’’
Chicago requires all attendees at events in arenas to be vaccinated for COVID-19. That’s the policy change Duncan referred to.
‘‘It is very rare that events don’t get sanctioned,’’ Duncan said. ‘‘They work with you to get the sanctioning done.’’
The NFHS website shows a sanctioning request for the event was submitted at 9:19 p.m. Tuesday. Donda Academy isn’t listed as an invited school. Chicago Prep is listed, but its approval was denied.
Duncan said he had a call scheduled with the IHSA later Wednesday.
‘‘The NFHS coordinates the sanctioning, and it goes through all the state associations,’’ Duncan said. ‘‘They have an expedited process, which costs more. We are going through that now. The fee is substantial.’’