It’s been quite a few days for Fayetteville’s native son, as Grammy-winning rapper J. Cole, is reportedly going to be a professional basketball player. According to multiple sources, Cole has signed a deal to play professional basketball in Rwanda, with his new album also set to drop this Friday.
J. Cole played two years of high school basketball at Terry Sanford, and is reportedly going to play three to six games for the Rwanda Patriots in a new league – The Basketball Africa League. The Patriots are already quite successful, having won their National Basketball League championships the last five years in a row.
#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 (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 9, 2021
The New Times has learned he is on the club's roster for the competition. pic.twitter.com/mhHOBCAvhx
J. Cole was set to be a walk-on basketball player at St. John’s in college, but instead decided to focus on his music career. That’s worked out pretty well, as he’s widely considered one of the best rappers alive, and has won a Grammy Award and has a host of other award nominations.
Shams Charania, an NBA insider for The Athletic, said Cole is expected to play his first game with the club on Sunday, when they square off against Nigeria.
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
Cole has a new album set to drop this Friday, May 14 – The Off-Season. He released the first track off the album – “i n t e r l u d e” – last Friday.
“Just know this was years in the making,” Cole said in announcing the new album release date. “My new album The Off-Season available everywhere 5/14.”
J. Cole’s basketball career may just be rebounding, but his Fayetteville roots are well known. He was back in town earlier this year, filming a commercial for Puma. He took the opportunity to recreate his iconic 2014 Forest Hills Drive album cover photo, but this time with his iconic new Puma gear on.