Famous rapper J. Cole joined the Rwanda Patriots BBC for the BAL (Basketball Africa League) and it sparked an international sensation. The Grammy-award winning artist decided to take his talents to a professional basketball league in Africa despite having no prior experience in pro sports. He played basketball at Terry Sanford High School in North Carolina as a kid and has always been attracted to the sport.
"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."
However, J. Cole's days as a professional athlete might have come to an end as BBC UK and ESPN report that he is leaving Rwanda and coming back home.
J. Cole no longer playing in the Basketball Africa League
J.Cole made his professional debut on May 16 against the Rivers Hoopers, finishing with 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 17 minutes. He had a total of 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in 45 minutes of three preliminary games.
The Patriots BBC play Ferroviario de Maputo of Mozambique in the playoff quarterfinals on Thursday and the championship game is Sunday. The inaugural 12-team league got a lot of hype and recognition when a world-famous rapper like J.Cole played for them.
However, his addition was not well received by every player in the league. Naturally, many felt he wasn't deserving of this opportunity. Morocco AS Sale guard Terrell Stoglin spoke with ESPN saying,
"[J. Cole's addition] was disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this."
Stoglin felt that J. Cole was taking the roster spot of someone whose only career is basketball. Nevertheless, his short stint with the Basketball Africa League is over and he is returning home citing "family obligations".