J. Cole’s time playing with the Rwanda Patriots has come to an end.
Many of us hope to live out all our passions in a single lifetime, but only a few get the opportunity to dabble in multiple careers. After releasing his latest album, The Off-Season, which has since debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, J. Cole embarked on another life-long dream, to play pro basketball.
The rapper who has been playing for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the Basketball Africa League has now fulfilled his contractual obligation to the team, having been expected to appear in a minimum of three games. According to ESPN, Cole has returned to America on account of a family obligation.
While the rapper’s play was met with mixed reactions from fans and players alike, his time in the BAL helped the Patriots earn a spot in the quarterfinal playoff game which will take place on Thursday (May 27) after the team went 2-1 in the group stage. Cole played in a trio of games coming off the bench, and in an accumulated 45 minutes, he scored five points, had five rebounds, and offered three assists.
Cole’s play received criticism from the star player of the league Terrell Stoglin who recently became the first player to score 40 points in the Basketball Africa League. The former University of Maryland shooting guard told ESPN that J. Cole’s spot on the Patriots was “disrespectful” and claimed he took the job from someone who “deserves it.”
The criticism was met with disdain from fans as well as Maybach Music Group head and rapper Rick Ross who said, “should no Black man’s dreams be censored nor limited” and lauded J. Cole’s presence in the league for what it was doing for the industry. Ross said Stoglin should have been supportive and added, “If Cristiano Ronaldo bought the team, you would be there for the ribbon-cutting, brother.”
Rick Ross speaks on people talking about J Cole going pro in Rwanda pic.twitter.com/2OgMysvoJx
— 2Cool2Blog (@2Cool2BIog) May 25, 2021
Now that J. Cole has wrapped up his time with the Patriots BBC, he may use the time to focus on his music and more visuals, having just released another successful Billboard chart-topping album. Not only has all his studio albums reached that milestone, but the rapper broke the streaming record for an album for 2021. The Off-Season was also the top-selling album of this frame when it debuted atop the chart this week.
Though J. Cole will no longer be hitting the court for the Patriots, fans aren’t sure he is completely done with his pro basketball career. There is no doubt that he brought major publicity to the BAL, but he also got the opportunity of a lifetime, having always dreamed of playing pro and stepping away in college to pursue music. Before taking his leave, Cole reportedly gifted the entire Patriots personnel with a pair of his custom Puma RS-Dreamer sneakers.
In his parting statement, J. Cole wrote, “Thank you to my teamates, the coaches and staff for treating me like family. I learned so much in the few weeks we were together. Congrats on that win tonight and good luck next game.”
Do you think the rapper will return to pro basketball again soon, or has he satisfied the dream?