If you said you had a star rapper playing for an African pro team in 2021 on your bingo card, we’d call you a liar. But, J. Cole is reportedly on the roster of the Rwanda team in the new Basketball Africa League (BAL).
According to the New Times Rwanda, J. Cole will be lacing up his Pumas and donning the uniform of the Rwanda Patriots of the Basketball Africa League. Apparently, the North Carolina rapper born Jermaine Cole is on the team’s roster.
The BAL is affiliated with the NBA and its inaugural season kicks off on May 16 with 12 teams participating and its playoff starting a couple of weeks later. The league is a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA and the teams include Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia as well as squads from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda.
Cole has discussed his hoop dreams before, and after starring in high school was a walk on at St. John’s before leaving the court to pursue his Hip-Hop career. When announcing his new album The Fall Off (a project called The Off-Season is arriving first, as in May 14), Cole seemingly said his pursuit of work as a pro ball player was a wrap. However, last year, Master P relayed that Cole was seriously pursuing a proper return to the basketball court, and possibly the NBA.
Clearly, a new album can’t put the kabosh on Cole’s love of the game. Per the Undefeated, Cole arrived in Rwanda on Saturday and he is on quarantine, but he is expected to officially sign with the team on Thursday (May 13).
The guy did manage to finesse his own pair of Puma signature basketball sneakers, plural. So should we really be surprised?