Rapper J. Cole is gearing up to enter the world of professional basketball in Africa.
The Grammy-Award-winning rapper will play for the Rwanda Patriots of the Basketball Africa League, which showcases 12 teams. According to ESPN, the 36-year-old rapper arrived in Rwanda days ago and is quarantining, which is required to play in the league.
Cole has long showcased his love for basketball. While a student at Sanford High School in North Carolina, he was a standout star. After graduating, Cole became a walk-on for St. John’s men’s basketball team. However, once his rap career began to take off, he placed his hoop dreams on hold. Last year, reports swirled about Cole training to play in the NBA. Master P further fueled these rumors when he revealed to TMZ that he and the “Power Trip” star spoke in-depth about joining the league. When Cole asked P if he thought he had what it takes to go pro, the mogul replied, “It’s gonna be a lot of hate, it’s gonna be a lot of people not believing in you,” but he supported Cole’s dreams.
Sources say that J. Cole’s signing with the Rwanda Patriots will likely become official on Thursday. The first BAL game is scheduled for Sunday against the Nigeria River Hoopers.
The NBA and FIBA announced plans to establish the Basketball Africa League on February 16th, 2019. On October 15th, 2019, the inaugural season started, with teams from 32 African countries playing.