KIGALI, Rwanda (AFP) — American rap star J. Cole has signed with the Rwanda Patriots and will play as a shooting forward in the maiden National Basketball Association (NBA)-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) which starts in the East African nation on Sunday.
The award-winning rapper and music producer, whose full name is Jermaine Lamarr Cole, 36, played the sport in high school and university, and has long dreamed of a professional basketball career.
His name featured on the roster of 13 players released Friday night by Patriots head coach Alan Major. Cole will play in jersey No. 15 for the team representing Rwanda in the BAL.
“J. Cole is a very good shooter. We picked him because He has a really high IQ for the game,” Patriots chief operations officer Haydee Ndayishimiye told AFP.
“He has a history of playing the game. We just thought that he is a great fit with the team and as we have seen in practice he is gelling well with the team. While they are practicing with him, they are looking good out there. He really compliments the team,” she added.
Ndayishimiye said Cole’s contract was confidential, and he would only be with the team for the duration of the tournament.