Rapper J. Cole rapper has signed on to play basketball with a team in a Canadian professional league.
On Thursday evening (May 19), it was announced that the 37-year-old star will be joining the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) in its upcoming season, which kicks off on May 25. While the details of Cole’s agreement with the Shooting Stars have yet to be disclosed, each team in the CEBL typically plays 20 regular-season games, which are followed by the playoff rounds to determine a champion.
— CEBL (@CEBLeague) May 20, 2022
This marks the second time Cole has signed on with a team for a professional basketball stint. In 2021, he suited up with the Rwanda Patriots of the Basketball Africa League. Appearing in three regular-season contests, Cole tallied a total of five points, three assists, and five rebounds in 45 minutes of action. He ultimately departed from the Patriots due to a “family obligation,” but fulfilled his contractual obligation of playing in the minimum of three of the six games he signed up for.
Yet, the former high school baller and St John’s University walk-on’s pursuit of his hoop dreams hasn’t been celebrated by everyone, as one Basketball Africa League star criticized Cole’s run with the Patriots, arguing that Cole’s presence came at the expense of another player vying for a spot on a roster.
“I think there’s a negative and a positive [to J. Cole’s presence],” Terrell Stoglin—the BAL’s leading scorer last season—told ESPN. “The negative part of it is: I think he took someone’s job that deserves it.” While Stoglin acknowledged the benefit that Cole brings in driving up revenue and exposure for the league, he stood strong on his stance that Cole’s tenure with the Patriots was “disrespectful” to other aspiring pro athletes. “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.”
Cole will join the Shooting Stars for training camp before the team’s first game on Thursday, May 26. He will play guard for the squad, which will play its first season after joining the CEBL in August 2021.