Rapper J. Cole makes professional basketball debut in new Basketball Africa League

Fresh off the release of his new album “The Off-Season,” rapper J. Cole made his professional debut for the Rwanda Patriots BBC of the new Basketball Africa League on Saturday.

Cole came off the bench in the inaugural matchup of the BAL between the Patriots and the Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club in the first quarter. With under a minute left in the quarter, Steve Hagumintwari was on the fast break and missed a layup with a defender on him. Luckily, Cole was right behind with the put back tip-in for his first professional points.

Cole later shot a technical foul free throw for his third point. He also showed flashes of hustle after throwing a no-look, behind the back pass for an assist to former NC State forward Brandon Costner.

In 17 minutes played, Cole finished with three points, three rebounds and two assists. The Patriots won the game, 83-60. He is expect to play three-to-six games for the Patriots this season.

Aside from numerous references about the sport in his songs, Cole has been serious about becoming a professional basketball player for quite some time. The Detroit Pistons even offered him a tryout in August 2020 after a video of his workout was posted on Twitter.

In an article in The Player’s Tribune, he wrote about giving up on playing for the St. John’s University men’s basketball team to pursue a rap career.


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