Report: Rapper J. Cole 'expected to play' for Rwanda in Basketball Africa League

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Rapper J. Cole, whose new album "The Off-Season" is set to debut this week, is reportedly preparing to take the court as a professional basketball player for a team in the new Basketball Africa League. 

According to the New Times Rwanda, Cole is in on the roster of the Rwanda Patriots BBC, and is currently in Rwanda.

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Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated later confirmed the New Times' report, revealing that Cole is currently in the mandatory four-day quarantine, and is "expected to play" on Sunday. 

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The team has not officially announced the signing, but Spears reported that they're expected to on Thursday. 

Cole, 36, might've had a career in basketball if things had gone differently. When he was in high school in North Carolina, he was a standout star on the Sanford High School basketball team. He was even a walk-on at St. John's University, a Division I school. According to Spears, Cole chose to focus on music and never played a game. 

Cole has been training for months

In August 2020, rapper Master P revealed that Cole had been training to get into the NBA. Master P did the same thing in the late 1990s, playing in the preseason for both the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors. He told TMZ Sports that he and Cole had a long conversation about what it takes to make it in the NBA as an outsider. 

"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?'

"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!

"But, what I told him ... this a different time we're in. They're going to pick you apart! You're gonna have to be able to hit every shot and if you don't hit every shot, they — you know in the NBA, they don't hit every shot but they believe in them. So, you're gonna have to go somewhere where the team really believe in you and the players believe in you."

It looks like Cole is shooting his shot. And you can watch him try when the Basketball Africa League's inaugural season kicks off on Sunday with Cole's Patriots facing the Rivers Hoopers at 7:00 a.m. ET on ESPNews.