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Rapper J. Cole Scores in Debut; Patriots BBC Win in Basketball Africa League Opener

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2021

Rapper J. Cole performs at halftime during NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

J. Cole made his Basketball Africa League debut, appearing for Rwanda's Patriots BBC in their 83-60 win over the Rivers Hoopers from Nigeria. 

The rapper, whose real name is Jermaine Cole, finished with three points and three rebounds in the game.

He checked in during the first quarter and got onto the scoreboard with a putback after a fast break.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

J. Cole made his pro basketball debut with the Rwanda Patriots Basketball club πŸ‘<br><br>(via @TSN_Sports)pic.twitter.com/so4Lnpw1xN

ESPN @espn

J. Cole's first bucket with the Patriots BBC‼️<br><br>πŸ“Ί: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/GtI8E1mc5k

Cole continued to hold his own on both ends, seeing extended minutes off the bench while looking like a valuable role player.

He nailed his only free-throw attempt after going to the line following a technical foul.

There were more struggles in the second half, missing a running layup and a three-point shot while also giving away some turnovers. Cole still got an assist on a fast break as he helped his team finish off a blowout victory in the first game of the tournament.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

J. Cole really out here throwing no-look dimes πŸ‘€πŸ”₯<br><br>(via @theBAL)pic.twitter.com/FruTIqjhSh

The 36-year-old agreed to a deal with the club this week for the continental competition, bringing added attention to a team that has won its domestic league in each of the last five years before qualifying for the BAL.

The Patriots also feature former North Carolina State standout Brandon Costner and look like they could be a top contender during this event's inaugural season.

J. Cole can also help on the floor having showcased his basketball ability in the past at celebrity contests and even pickup games. He detailed his dream of reaching the NBA last year in an essay for The Players' Tribune.

He was at least able to get his first taste of professional basketball at the BAL. After also dropping his latest album The Off-Season, it's been quite a week for the superstar.