J. Cole is preparing to play professional basketball for the Rwanda Patriots, The Undefeated and ESPN report. The Rwandan newspaper The New Times broke the news on Sunday (May 9) and revealed that the “Middle Child” rapper touched down in the East African country over the weekend.
Cole is reportedly listed as one of four possible foreign players for the Patriots, which will compete in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League. Sources told The Undefeated that Cole is currently self-quarantining to be able to play in the league’s first game this Sunday (May 16) and that his involvement with the team will be made official this Thursday (May 13).
Neither Cole nor his management have confirmed or denied the reports.
The Basketball Africa League was first introduced back in 2019 and was formally announced this March. The league will include 12 national teams from the countries of Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda. Each team will include at least eight local players and up to four foreign athletes.
Cole’s potential to go pro has long been reported on. The North Carolina native was a star player for his high school basketball team and was a walk-on for St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team. However, he ultimately chose to pursue his rapping career over basketball.
Last year, Master P claimed Cole was training to play in 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 recalled to TMZ at the time. “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!”
Besides his hoop dreams, Cole is also gearing up to release his sixth studio album The Off-Season this Friday (May 14). See The New Times’ tweet below.