It looks like J. Cole will get another stint on the hardwood, as it’s confirmed that he will be playing another season as a professional, this time in Canada.
On Thursday evening (May 19th), the Canadian Elite Basketball League sent out a tweet announcing that the “No Role Models” rapper signed a deal to play for the Scarborough Shooting Stars. The news was first reported by Shams Charnia of The Athletic minutes beforehand.
The deal marks the second year in a row that the 37-year-old has signed on to be a professional basketball player. Cole made headlines when he signed a deal to play shooting guard with the Rwanda Patriots B.B.C. in the Basketball Africa League in May of last year. The North Carolina native averaged five points and nabbed five rebounds and three assists during his three-game stint before leaving ahead of the league tournament to attend to “family commitments”. The Patriots would go on to finish fourth. His presence got mixed reactions, with the Basketball Africa League’s leading scorer Terrell Stoglin of the AS Sale team being critical in an interview with ESPN at the time: “The positive side of it is: it brings a lot of attention, and, I guess, money. I don’t really pay attention to that type of stuff. I’m more [concerned that] he took someone’s job that deserved it.”
The Canadian Elite Basketball League has grown since its inception in 2017, with the Scarborough Shooting Stars as one of three new teams joining the league last season representing the city outside of Toronto. Training camp has begun for the league, and the season officially begins on the road next Wednesday for the Shooting Stars. The news has already stoked interest among natives of Scarborough, who responded to the tweet with excitement. That includes TSN Sports reporter Kayla Grey, who wrote: “I’m so excited for my ends. J.Cole bought to become a Scarborough yute.”