J. Cole Will Reportedly Play For Rwandan National Basketball Team
This coming Friday, J. Cole will release his new album The Off-Season; he just released the new single “i n t e r l u d e” on Friday. But Cole reportedly has another big project planned out, as well. In what must be the most ambitious rap-to-basketball crossover attempt since Master P played pre-season games for the Hornets and the Raptors in 1998 and 1999, Cole will play for the Rwandan national team.
As The FADER points out, the New Times Rwanda reports that Cole is currently in Rwanda, and ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reports that he’s expected to play for the Rwanda Patriots BBC, the team that will represent Rwanda in the Basketball Africa League.
The BAL is a new venture from the NBA and FIBA. It’ll include 12 teams from around Africa, and they’ll play a two-week season, starting this Saturday. Cole is currently doing a four-day quarantine in Rwanda, and he’ll officially sign with the Patriots on Thursday before taking the court against the Nigeria River Hoopers on Sunday.
Cole played high school ball in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and he considered playing at the collegiate level for St. John’s University. In an editorial last year, Cole explained why he decided to pursue rap instead of basketball as a career. In 2018, Cole served as a human prop in the NBA Slam Dunk Contenst, and during a quiet moment, he grabbed a ball and attempted to dunk it himself. (He missed.) On the cover of The Off-Season, Cole poses in front of a burning basketball hoop.
UPDATE: Cole just shared Applying Pressure, a mini-documentary about the making of the new album. The film has some footage of Cole shooting on his home court, but it otherwise has nothing about his Rwandan basketball future. Here it is: