J. Cole is now a professional basketball player. According to multiple reports, the 36-year-old rap star is expected to play for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League. Cole arrived in Rwanda two days ago and is in quarantine in order to play for the league that has 12 teams.
The Patriots haven't announced the signing but Marcus Spears of the Undefeated reported the could happen on Thursday. Cole came close to having a career in basketball instead of hip hop. He was a stand-out basketball player at Sanford High School in North Carolina and then walked on at St. John's University. However, Cole decided to focus on his music career, which has turned out to be a good choice as he has been nominated for 11 Grammys with one win.
Sources confirm @NewTimesRwanda report @JColeNC expected to play for Rwanda Patriots BBC in @theBAL. The rap star is in the four-day quarantine and the signing is expected to be official Thursday. Patriots open BAL action Sunday vs Nigeria River Hoopers 7 am EST live on ESPNews. https://t.co/QorCELnX96— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 10, 2021
Back in August, rapper Master P revealed that Cole had been training to get into the NBA. "When I talked to J. Cole, he was like 'You know, big dog you did it. What do you think I would have to do to make it happen?' Master P said to TMZ. "I said to get one of these NBA jerseys, it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be a lot of hate, it's gonna be a lot of people not believing in you but you know J. Cole — he got the right size, he in the gym! Master P went on to say that he told Cole, "They're going to pick you apart! You're gonna have to be able to hit every shot and if you don't hit every shot, they - you know in the NBA, they don't hit every shot but they believe in them." He then told Cole he will have got to a team where they "really believe in you and the players believe in you."
Cole is becoming a pro basketball player just days before his new album drops. His sixth studio album, The Off-Season will be released on Friday but one song, "Interlude," was made available last week. This will be his first album since KOD was released in 2018.
"This is the moment that a lot of your favorite rappers hit a crossroads," Cole says in a clip of his new documentary Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary. "Are you okay with getting comfortable? Did you leave no stone unturned creatively? And when I thought about that feeling, I was like, 'Nah, I'm not cool with that.'"