Rapper J. Cole signs contract with Canadian pro basketball team

J. Cole is bringing his basketball talents to Canada. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
J. Cole is bringing his basketball talents to Canada. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

American rapper and professional basketball player J. Cole is taking his talents to Bluffer's Beach, as the Canadian Elite Basketball League announced his signing with the Scarborough Shooting Stars Thursday evening.

The news was first reported by NBA insider Shams Charania, much to the shock and delight of Canadian Basketball Twitter.

The Grammy-winning artist went from dropping singles to dropping dimes last year when he joined the Basketball Africa League in May 2021. In three games with the Rwandan-based Patriots Basketball Club, Cole scored five points, racked up three assists, and notched five rebounds in 45 minutes of floor time. He ultimately left following his three-game stint due to family obligations.

The Shooting Stars are set to open their season in just a few days when they take on the Guelph Nighthawks on the road on May 26.

Led by Toronto Raptors assistant coach, player development consultant and former NBA All-Star Jamaal Magloire, who serves as the Shooting Stars' VP, the allure of working with NBA-level talent may have helped sway Cole’s decision to join the CEBL. Magloire is also joined in the front office by longtime Canadian national team member and PanAm Games silver medalist Brady Heslip, who serves as the team’s general manager.

The CEBL, which began play in 2019, is a professional 10-team league featuring franchises from across Canada, making it the largest such league solely based north of the 49th parallel.

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