J. Cole’s professional basketball career with the Rwanda Patriots has come to an end, ESPN’s Senior NBA writer Marc J. Spears reported on Wednesday (May 26). According to a tweet from Spears, a source confirmed that the multi-platinum rapper completed his contractual agreement with the Basketball Africa League and has left Rwanda due to an unspecified “family obligation.”
During his time with the team, Cole had five points, three assists and five rebounds in the three games that he played.
The news arrives after a video of Cole handing out sneakers to his Rwanda Patriots teammates went viral earlier this week. In the TikTok clip, shared by basketball trainer Omar Khanani and reposted by TheShadeRoom, Cole could be seen giving his teammates free boxes of new shoes, presumably his Puma collaboration, the RS-Dreamers.
News of Cole’s addition to the Basketball Africa League caused a stir among fans earlier this month. The 36-year-old rapper’s potential to go pro has long been reported on, as he was a star player for his high school basketball team and a walk-on at St. John’s University. Last year, Master P also claimed that 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!”
The news also arrived as Cole was gearing up to release his sixth studio album, The Off-Season. The record has since debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, collecting Cole his sixth No. 1 album.
See Spears’ tweet and the video of Cole handing out free sneakers to his teammates below.