J. Cole is set to play in his first professional game in the African Basketball League. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the “No Role Modelz” emcee will join the Rwanda Patriots B.B.C. team on Sunday (May 16). The game will air at 7 a.m. ET on the ESPN News channel.
As REVOLT previously reported, Cole signed a three- to six-game contract with the team. He is reportedly one of two important signings for the organization, along with former N.C. State star Brandon Costner.
On Friday (May 14), the Basketball Africa League’s official Instagram account shared a video of the Fayetteville native participating in a scrimmage with his teammates against the River Hoopers, a Nigerian team.
Cole’s appearance in the video was short, but fans can see an early look of him dribbling past an opponent.
The Basketball Africa League was first launched in 2019 and was formally announced this past March. The league includes 12 teams from the countries of Egypt, Mali, Angola, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Rwanda and Madagascar. Each team will include at least eight local players and up to four foreign professionals.
Cole was a star player for his high school basketball team and was a walk-on for the men’s basketball team at St. John’s, but he eventually chose to pursue a career in hip hop over the sport.
Last year, Master P revealed the 2014 Forest Hills Drive emcee 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?’” the No Limit Records founder said 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!”
Check out the first look of Cole on the court below.