J. Cole‘s own sideline story is finally coming full circle on the court — the guy just made his professional debut as a basketball player … and he did it in none other than Africa!
The rapper — who’s fresh off a fire sixth studio album — put on his hooping shoes this weekend not too long after signing a brief three-to-six game contract with the Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club, which is part of the Basketball Africa League.
Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club to Face Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers in First BAL Game today (10:00 a.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. CAT) catch it on ESPN+ https://t.co/XadMfqA4fg https://t.co/VvP5jgiyEw The NBA App 🥶🌎🏀 pic.twitter.com/4HtzJSV8qU
— Dreamville (@Dreamville) May 16, 2021
On Sunday, the club was set to face off against Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers — a game that was broadcast on national television here in the States. Sure enough, it looks like Cole was part of the starting five at tip-off — and the dude showed off his famed athleticism early and often.
Different clips captured from the game show Jermaine grabbing rebounds, playing D and hustling up and down the court. He even got his first bucket with a put-back after one of his teammates attempted a layup. It’s clear — the dude can still ball, even at the ripe age of 36.
J. Cole with his first bucket in the Basketball Africa League 👏 pic.twitter.com/DtparQKu8q
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 16, 2021
We say “still” because — whether you’re aware or not — J. Cole is a noted hooper … having played competitively in high school and even earning himself a walk-on spot with the St. John’s Red Storm team for a while. He ended up leaving basketball behind to pursue his career in music — but like many among the rich and famous, Cole can hold his own.
He played for the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game back in 2012, and proved himself there … and now, it looks like he’s getting back to his on-court roots in a whole other country.
Jermaine Cole in action for #Rwanda Patriots 🏀 pic.twitter.com/loJAJvmzDl
— Navjosh (@Navjosh) May 16, 2021
Unclear what the end game for Cole is here — but by the looks of it … he’s taking this contract pretty seriously, and based on how big a draw he is — they may even extend him.
The Patriots ended up beating the Hoopers with a score of 83-60, and while Cole didn’t have the most impressive stat line — he only had three points in the end — the guy plays hard, and seems to be able to put asses in the seats. Go figure!