Speed Reads


The rapper J. Cole will be playing professional basketball in Africa

The Grammy-winning rapper J. Cole is expected to play for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the newly-formed Basketball Africa League, ESPN reports.

Cole, 36, starred for his high school team in North Carolina before walking on at St. John's University. He never appeared in a game, instead focusing his energy on a career in music. In 2019, he showcased his passing skills at the highest level — tossing a seated alley-oop to the New York Knicks' Dennis Smith Jr. during the All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest. Unfortunately, Cole followed that with his own less-than stellar dunk attempt.

Last year, Master P — another rapper who once harbored hopes of playing professional basketball — claimed that Cole was training to play in the NBA. "I said [to Cole] to get one of these NBA jerseys, it's not gonna be easy," he told TMZ. "So, you're gonna have to go somewhere where the team really believe[s] in you and the players believe in you." That place, apparently, is Africa. The BAL will feature 12 teams from across the continent, with the new season beginning on May 16 — two days after the release of Cole's latest album, The Off-Season.