J. Cole x Dennis Smith: Small-Town Bond from Fayetteville to the NBA

B/R Video@@bleacherreportB/R VideoJune 21, 2017

The fraternal bond between hip-hop and basketball has always been strong. The modern era of the NBA has witnessed lyricists and ballplayers become inseparable. From Shaquille O’Neal’s friendship with the Notorious B.I.G. to Nelly growing up walking a young neighbor named Bradley Beal to elementary school, the examples are numerous.

A similar connection has developed in Fayetteville, a small city in North Carolina, where one of its native sons, Dennis Smith Jr, is about to become an NBA lottery pick. Early on in high school, Smith had a chance encounter with then Fayetteville star, platinum hip-hop artist J. Cole.

Immediately, Cole believed in Smith and became an older brother figure in the young basketball player’s life. The two discuss how Fayetteville brought them together and why their connection is vital to both.

[Credit to YouTube user pfarroyo0728 for the skating rink footage. Click here for the full video.]

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