Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Loving life at Donda, J.J. Taylor & Jahki Howard are interested in playing together at the next level
By MATT WHITFIELDAURORA, CO. — Walking off the court after a hard fought 99-89 victory over Denver Prep at the Gary Rhoades Classic, Donda Academy players were mobbed by at least 15-20 adoring teenage fans.
J.J. Taylor, the star of the game who finished 34 points and 12 rebounds, spent at least five minutes signing autographs and posing for photos. Rock stars on the high school circuit, Taylor and teammate Jahki Howard have interest in teaming up together at the next level.
“Me and J.J. talk about it all the time, teaming up in college, but who knows,” said Howard, the Class of 2024 4-star small forward. When asked how often Howard and J.J, talk being a package deal at the next level,” Howard said, “We talk about it a lot like what are we going to do in the future, like what were going to do working out.”
On this possibility of being a package deal Taylor, a 5-star small forward from Chicago, added, “We talk about that often. We hang around each other like every day, so we have time to talk about everything for real.”
Asked how likely he thought a package would be, Taylor responded, “Only time will tell. I can’t tell the future.”
Kentucky is a school that is recruiting the duo. And has offered Taylor.
“I talk to him [John Calipari] often, like every week,” said Taylor, who added he plans to take another visit to Lexington.
On Kentucky, Howard said, “I’ve been talking to Kentucky a lot recently.”
Howard added that he keeps tabs with associate head coach Orlando Antigua.
The duo has a who’s who of college coaches watching. Taylor said that Duke and Kentucky and “pretty much everybody” have offered.
Howard said that, “I’ve got offers from Texas, Kansas, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, there’s so many I can’t even name them all.”
Besides Kentucky showing interest Howard also mentioned he has heard from Duke, “but I haven’t talked to Duke in a while.”
For now the two teens are just loving life at Donda Academy where Kayne West is around “a lot” per Taylor.
“It’s really good [at Donda Academy],” Howard said. “We have a lot of fans. We bring out the crowds.”
Howard is also impressed with the facilities.
“We have the best training. The best facility, everything is just perfect,” said Howard.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.