Rapper J. Cole Inks Basketball Deal In Africa With Rwanda’s Patriots

J. Cole will finally live out his professional basketball dreams with the Rwanda Patriots BBC.

The North Carolina rapper reportedly signed with Rwanda’s national team and is slated to take part in the Basketball Africa League. According to SportsCenter, a source says the signing will be official on Thursday, which is when the announcement will be made. That’s just days before the Patriots are set to play the Nigeria River Hoopers on Sunday and one day before J. Cole drops his long-awaited album The Off-Season.

While he chose to pursue his music career and a great one at that, J. Cole has always had a passion for basketball. He played varsity for the Fayetteville Bulldogs for two years in high school and even tried out for the St. John’s University’s basketball team in college. However, the rapper opted to focus on his rap career back then, and he didn’t go to the second day of tryouts. J. Cole talked about his basketball dreams always taking a back seat to his rap music career and his intention to still pursue the sport professionally in a 2020 Player’s Tribune feature.

“When I fell in love with the craft at 13 years old, I tore the basketball posters off my wall and hung up pictures and lyrics of hip-hop greats to replace them,” said J. Cole. In the article titled “The Audacity,” which was penned by the rapper, he talked about his “career bucket list,” which included another album, as well as exploring his passion for basketball. “At 35 years old, I know that sounds crazy when said out loud, but I believe all of the best dreams do,” J. Cole wrote.

After the industry learned that Cole was trying to pursue an NBA contract, the rapper was invited to try out for the Detroit Pistons in August 2020. NBA executives would have already gotten a taste of Cole’s skills back in 2012 during the All-Star Celebrity Game on ESPN, where the rapper delivered a more than stellar performance, far outshining all the other participants.

Now that his next album, The Off-Season, is set to be released on Friday (May 14), everything seems to be aligning perfectly for the rapper to now focus on his basketball career. J. Cole will play three to six games for the Patriots in the African League, hopefully starting Sunday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “The rap star is in the four-day quarantine and the signing is expected to be official Thursday. Patriots open BAL action Sunday vs Nigeria River Hoopers 7 am EST live on ESPNews,” ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported.

The Dreamville rapper said no mountain too high, and this week he will show just that. Are you excited about J. Cole’s new album and his next chapter?

Sources: American rap star J. Cole is signing a deal in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda's Patriots B.B.C. J. Cole will play 3-to-6 games, the first of which on Sunday vs. Nigeria.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 10, 2021

Sources confirm @NewTimesRwanda report @JColeNC expected to play for Rwanda Patriots BBC in @theBAL. The rap star is in the four-day quarantine and the signing is expected to be official Thursday. Patriots open BAL action Sunday vs Nigeria River Hoopers 7 am EST live on ESPNews. https://t.co/QorCELnX96

— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 10, 2021

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