J. Cole to headline Basketball Africa League kick-off

J. Cole had a week.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper not only released his sixth studio album, Low season, but he also made his Basketball Africa League debut with the Rwanda Patriots. The Patriots are one of 12 teams from across Africa competing in the league’s inaugural season.

The league itself is a product of the NBA and the International Basketball Federation with the aim of bringing a platform for players across the country to show off their talents in the hope of reaching levels of higher competition around the world, including the NBA. From the late 1990s we started to see a slow trickle of international players making their way into the NBA, but not before players like Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker started to form all the star teams and that the winning championships have opened.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been a longtime supporter of bringing in the best talent from around the world, and it’s yet another step for the progressive league to provide so many avenues for the best to find their way to the league. With much of Europe having established professional basketball leagues, there was a huge void in the African country when it came to opportunities.

Africa is still a very poor and under-industrialized country, so the resources and money are simply not there to support such an endeavor. But with the support of the NBA, the league has a great chance of succeeding and producing NBA players.

But what’s going on with J. Cole?

Cole played a college ball with St. John’s like a walk-on, and we’ve seen his ability on display during the NBA All-Star weekend in celebrity games and on his social media accounts. So we know Cole can hoop, and we know he’s always up for the job. He spoke at length about his creative process while doing his art, and one can only assume that he takes that work ethic into this new area of ​​professional basketball.

Cole is expected to play a handful of games for the Patriots during the UEFA Champion’s League style of play schedule. The BAL (Basketball Africa League) divides teams into the group stage, which consists of 18 matches, and then the top eight teams from the group stage advance to the playoffs. The remaining teams will face off in a single playoff season that will last for three rounds. The BAL final will take place on May 30.

Cole is not expected to play all Thu; the team only plans that he will play in a maximum of six games. In his debut with the Patriots, he had 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 17 minutes of play. Not exactly the start he was hoping for, but if he manages to catch up with speed and start taking shots. , we could see him extend that limit a bit.

The timing for Cole’s debut, the release of his album, and the crossover appeal it brings is a perfect cocktail for the BAL as he tries to see his product. Cole has always said he wanted to make it to the NBA, but at his age (36) he’s unlikely to get the chance. So he can live out his professional basketball fantasy in the BAL while helping the players in this country get noticed.

Cole’s desire to uplift others has long been a part of who he is, which can be seen in his non-profit organization. Dreamville Foundation and their efforts to support disadvantaged and underfunded communities largely in his home state of North Carolina.

Although you might not be making any money betting on J. Cole playing basketball. Low season is set to become one of the Rap Pioneer Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2022. Much like the Oscars, the Grammy Awards have a habit of awarding artists a few projects too late. Cole’s new album sees him attempting to position himself at the top of the rap game as the best living lyricist.

Cole has been revered as one of today’s purest rappers since his debut in 2014 with 2014 Forest Hills Drive and put an exclamation on this take with 2018 KOD, who wasn’t even nominated for Best Rap Album that year.

Cole’s latest album features intricate beats produced by Timbaland and even sees the rapper working across the sound booth producing songs on the album himself. It seems that one of the poets of rap seeks even more control of the art he brings into the world. This is something Grammy voters will take into consideration.

While the album is not a marked improvement over any of its previous releases, there is certainly no sign of regression. The album is representative of what we’ve seen of Cole throughout his illustrious career. Its delivery is fluid, its messages are strong and the album leaves you wanting more.

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