Photo Getty/Kevork Djansezian
American rapper J. Cole is expected to suit up and play for the Rwandan Patriots BBC in the Basketball Africa League, according to multiple reports. A source told SportsCenter is expected to become official on Thursday.
The musician will play three to six games as one of two non-African players on the Patriots' roster alongside former North Carolina State University basketball standout Brandon Costner, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
J. Cole, who was born Jermaine Lamarr Cole, is a musician and songwriter with his own label, Dreamville Records. On May 4, the rapper announced that his next album, "The Off-Season," will be released on May 14, just two days before he's expected to play in his first game as a professional basketball player.
Despite being mostly known for his lyricism and becoming a platinum-selling artist with no features, J. Cole's love of basketball has been chronicled extensively. The musician, who played two years of varsity in high school, told Sports Illustrated in 2013 that he tried out for St. John's University's basketball team while he attended the school, but did not attend the second day of walk-on tryouts in order to pursue his musical aspirations.
The rapper's basketball talents were placed under the national spotlight in 2012 when he participated in the 2012 ESPN All-Star Celebrity Game and became one of the first celebrities to ever dunk in the festivity.
Rapper and former professional basketball player Master P said in 2020 that J. Cole was considering trying to earn an NBA contract, leading to the Detroit Pistons offering him a chance to try out for their roster.
The rapper has also been seen holding his own in pickup games against NBA veterans and stars such as CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Trae Young, and JR Smith. - Madison Hall, Insider