J. Cole makes pro hoops debut in Africa League


Rapper J. Cole made his debut with the Patriots Basketball Club on Sunday and held his own on the court in the BAL, the Basketball Africa League.

Cole, whose real name is Jermaine Cole, finished with three points, three rebounds and two assists in just under 18 minutes of action as the Patriots, who are based in Kigali, Rwanda, took on the Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club. His first points came on a putback layup off of a miss by Steve Hagumintwari in the final minute of the first quarter.

Cole trailed the play and put the ball back up off the left side for his first professional basket. In the second quarter, Cole added a technical free throw. He missed both his field goal attempts in the second half.

This isn’t Cole’s first foray into hoops. He was a standout basketball player in high school and played briefly for St. John’s as a walk-on. The game was the first game in the BAL, which is a joint effort between the NBA and FIBA.

It’s been a big week for the 36-year-old Cole. He released his album The Off-Season — the cover art of which shows Cole standing in front of a basketball goal on fire. On the album, he shouted out many NBA stars including Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook.

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