Rapper J. Cole is signing a deal to play in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda’s Patriots BBC, according to The Undefeated‘s Marc J. Spears.
Cole will reportedly play between three and six games with the team, the first of which will be on Sunday against Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers.
Cole, 36, arrived in Rwanda two days ago and is in the midst of quarantining, per The Undefeated.
The New Times (Rwanda) first reported news of Cole’s arrival in Rwanda.
Cole played basketball at Sanford High School in North Carolina and was briefly a walk-on at St. John’s. He ultimately left the program to focus on his music career and never appeared in a Division I game.
“Sports is where it started for me,” Cole told Sports Illustrated in 2013. “It parallels my life. Rap is such a competitive thing. That’s why I have to watch sports. I got to keep up. It’s my life in just another form.”
BAL is beginning its inaugural season this weekend. It is a partnership between FIBA and the NBA, marking the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.
The inaugural season will feature a total of 26 games, beginning first with an 18-game group phase for each of the league’s 12 teams. The top eight teams from the group phase will qualify for the playoffs, which will be single elimination in all three rounds.
The first BAL finals will be held on Sunday, May 30.
Cole is expected to make his debut on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 7 a.m. ET and the game will air on ESPNews.
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