May 10, 2021

Rapper J. Cole to Play for Rwanda Patriots in Basketball Africa League

J. Cole's dreams of playing professional basketball are about to come true.

The 36-year-old rapper is set to play in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League for the Rwanda Patriots, according to the New Times.

The signing will reportedly become official Thursday. 

Born Jermaine Lamarr Cole, the artist is currently quarantining so he can play in the 12-team league. Cole is set to play between three-to-six games for the Patriots with the first contest scheduled for Sunday against the Nigeria River Hoopers. 

The timing is rather fortuitous — just like an expected Kanye West tweetstorm — as J. Cole will drop his highly anticipated album, titled The Off-Season, on Friday.

Cole has long been infatuated with basketball. He starred at Sanford (North Carolina) High School before he was a walk-on at St. John's University. 

Even as Cole has ascended to hip hop superstar, his love for the game has always been evident. He even reportedly tried out for the Pistons last year (Detroit could have used the extra fanfare, to be honest).

At 6-foot-2, Cole has the build of a potential NBA point guard. He also sports a clean jump shot:

In a touching article in The Player's Tribune in 2020, Cole explained his dedication to both rap and basketball, and how hard it's been for him to leave basketball behind as he chased rap stardom. 

"I still find myself staring at that other one in the distance, wondering if I can climb," Cole wrote. "At 35-years-old, I know that sounds crazy when said out loud, but I believe all of the best dreams do."

Photo: Getty Images