Skip to main content

J Cole explains his decision to play in the Basketball Africa League

J-Cole

In a time where the world stayed at home and baked pounds of banana bread to combat stagnation, Jermaine Lamarr Cole aka J.Cole took to the courts to work on his game to pass the time. This week, he celebrates the journey by signing a deal to play for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the Basketball Africa League, a product of a shift in thinking which he covers extensively in the documentary dropping tomorrow as per his official Twitter account.

Cole, 36, is no stranger to the game. His performance on the court for Sanford High School in North Carolina was impressive, and while it did not lead to Cole being recruited, the rapper did make it to the team at St. John’s as a walk-on but then shifted his focus to music before his college career began.

“Are you okay with getting comfortable? Did you leave no stone unturned creatively? When I thought about that feeling, I said Nah, I’m not cool with that.”

J.Cole

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

You might ask, why is this important to the game? We have seen a rapper make a run at their hoop dream before in Master P, what is new here? For starters, the BAL is the product of a partnership between FIBA and the NBA to grow the game across Africa, a part of the world that has already produced elite NBA talent such as Pascal Siakam and league MVP candidate Joel Embiid. By developing the game and raising the standard of play in the region, both the BAL and perhaps even the NBA can benefit from the infusion of even more talent coming from Africa.

However, there is the brand and business side of operating a basketball league in order to keep things running, and no league in the world understands that better than the NBA. A league needs a face, and in its most successful year, the NBA had the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Steph Curry to take its brand to new heights. For the BAL, a global icon like J.Cole helping kick things off could spell the difference as to whether this league lives or dies. Whether he averages two points a game or twenty is immaterial; what matters is that he represents what we all truly believe, that it is never too late to go after our dreams. Especially when you can hold your own against NBA guys.

Ryan Blackburn on the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract for an All-Star talent”

NBA analyst Ryan Blackburn blasts the Los Angeles Lakers - “Somehow, they’re going to get out of the Russell Westbrook contract"

Blackburn says that despite the Lakers throwing away tons of draft picks and cap space, they are about to land one of the top guards in the game for in return for one of the worst contracts in the league

Milwaukee Bucks guard Oscar Robertson and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Oscar Robertson claims he could beat Kobe Bryant 1-on-1 — “I taught him basketball!”

Oscar Robertson thinks he could beat Kobe Bryant one-on-one. Here's why I think he's wrong.

Too Short believes Jay Z's remake of 'Blow The Whistle' was more than just a diss song: 'I think he was thinking about signing LeBron'

Too Short believes Jay-Z's remake of 'Blow The Whistle' was more than just a diss song: 'I think he was thinking about signing LeBron'

In 2008, Jay Z did a remake of Too Short's "Blow the Whistle" as a response to DeShawn Stevenson's "overrated" dig at LeBron James. The message was on point but Too Short thinks it was more than just a diss song

Dwyane Wade on Kobe Bryant's rap skills: 'Sounded like Stephen A. Smith would rap'

Dwyane Wade on Kobe Bryant's rap skills: 'Sounded like Stephen A. Smith would rap'

Whenever Dwyane Wade hears Kobe Bryant rap, he also think about Stephen A. Smith.

Bill Simmons on the Rudy Gobert trade - “Gonna spend the next 48 hours…wondering if Minnesota just made the most inexplicable NBA overpay trade of all time”

Bill Simmons blasts the Rudy Gobert trade: "Minnesota just made the most inexplicable NBA overpay trade of all time"

Bill Simmons said he believes this may be one of the most inexplicable overpays in NBA history, and chances are, he is right

Instagram model Yasmine Lopez confirms she dated Carmelo Anthony: 'I was literally sitting next to him in the bed'

Instagram model Yasmine Lopez confirms she dated Carmelo Anthony: 'I was literally sitting next to him in the bed'

Carmelo Anthony's marriage with LaLa fell apart primarily due to his alleged unfaithfulness. Years after their divorce, one of Melo's rumored side chicks opened up.