American rapper J Cole signs for Rwandan basketball team
American rapper J Cole is set to play professional basketball for Rwandan side Patriots BBC.
The rapper will play three to six games as one of two non-African players on the Patriots’ roster alongside former North Carolina State University basketball standout Brandon Costner, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: American rap star J. Cole is signing a deal in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda's Patriots B.B.C. J. Cole will play 3-to-6 games, the first of which on Sunday vs. Nigeria.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 10, 2021
The news was also confirmed by The New Times Rwanda through their Twitter handle.
#BREAKING: American rapper J. Cole @JColeNC is in Rwanda and could feature for local side Patriots at the upcoming Basketball Africa League.
The New Times has learned he is on the club's roster for the competition. pic.twitter.com/mhHOBCAvhx
— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 9, 2021
The team’s coach, Alan Major, then confirmed the news to state broadcaster Rwanda TV on Monday.
According to sports news site The Undefeated, Cole arrived in Kigali on Saturday and is currently in quarantine ahead of Sunday’s game.
On May 4, the rapper announced that his next album, “The Off-Season,” will be released on May 14, just two days before he’s expected to play in his first game as a professional basketball player.
The musician has on many occasions spoken about his love for the game, in 2013 he told Sports Illustrated that he tried out for St. John’s University’s basketball team while he attended the school, but did not attend the second day of walk-on tryouts in order to pursue his musical aspirations.
“Sports is where it started for me. It parallels my life. Rap is such a competitive thing. That’s why I have to watch sports. I got to keep up. It’s my life in just another form,” Cole told Sports Illustrated in 2013.
In 2012 the rapper participated in the 2012 ESPN All-Star Celebrity Game and became one of the first celebrities to ever dunk in the festivity