J. Cole — who got to live his dream of professionally playing basketball, if only for a little while — has reportedly completed the terms of his contract with the BAL’s Rwanda Patriots, according to ESPN’s Marc Spears, who reported the news on Twitter. “Source confirms rapper J. Cole of the Rwanda Patriots BBC has completed his contractual obligation to the Basketball Africa League and has departed from Rwanda due to a ‘family obligation,'” he wrote. “J. Cole had five points, three assists, and five rebounds in three games.”
Source confirms rapper J. Cole of the Rwanda Patriots BBC has completed his contractual obligation to the Basketball Africa League and has departed from Rwanda due to a “family obligation,” a source said. J. Cole had five points, three assists and five rebounds in three games. pic.twitter.com/RXQsXMN8DX
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 26, 2021
It was Spears who initially announced the surprise signing ahead of the release of Cole’s new album The Off-Season, revealing that the rapper had agreed to a contract for three-to-six games in the newly formed international league. Cole’s manager and business partner Ib Hamad later noted that the timing was purely coincidental due to both the album release and the start of the Basketball Africa League being pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cole’s contract was likely scheduled to last at least the duration of the group stage play, with the additional three games taking place during the tournament contingent on his performance.
Not everyone appreciated having the rap star around, however. Terrell Stoglin, the leading scorer for Morocco’s AS Salé, called Cole’s opportunity “disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this” and felt “he took someone’s job that deserves it.” Although Rick Ross came to Cole’s defense, it appears to be a moot point now; Cole’s basketball career is, for the moment, over.