J. Cole Playing in Basketball Africa League Is 'Disrespectful,' Terrell Stoglin Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 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's move to the Basketball Africa League isn't being universally praised by his new peers.

Terrell Stoglin played at Maryland before embarking on a career overseas that took him to Morroccan side AS Sale. Speaking with Leonard Solms for ESPN, he conceded having the star rapper brings more attention to the BAL. However, he also argued Cole "took someone's job that deserves it."

"I live in a basketball world. I don't live in a fan world," Stoglin said. "I know a lot of guys that had their careers stopped by COVID and they're still home working out and training for an opportunity like this."

"For a guy who has so much money and has another career to just come here and average, like, one point a game and still get glorified is very disrespectful to the game. It's disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this."

A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole attended college at St. John's and attempted to walk onto the Red Storm men's basketball team. Beyond that, the 36-year-old had little to no formal experience on the court beyond high school.

Cole had a nondescript debut with Patriots Basketball Club earlier this month, finishing with three points, three rebounds and two assists.

In addition to the difficulty Cole faces in trying to catch up to players who have spent years competing professionally, Stoglin's comments underscore how some of Cole's opponents might be carrying chips on their shoulders following his arrival.