J. Cole has joined the 2022 roster of the Scarborough Shooting Stars, a Toronto-area team in the Canadian Elite Basketball League, according to multiple reports and an Instagram post by the team that lists him as a guard. The CEBL season starts Thursday, May 26. The news was first reported on Twitter by Shams Charania, a writer for The Athletic and Stadium. Cole has not yet announced the signing himself. The FADER has reached out to representatives of Cole and the league for further comment.
Cole’s hoop dreams have been central to his songs since the start of his musical career. He walked on to St. John’s University’s Division I Red Storm his sophomore year at the school (though he never ended up playing for the team), and early projects such as his 2009 mixtape The Warm-Up and his 2011 debut studio LP, Cole World: The Sideline Story, reference his struggle for basketball glory.
Last year, Cole played three preliminary games for the Basketball Africa League’s Rwanda Patriots, racking up 5 points, 3 assists and 5 rebounds in 45 minutes of play. Morocco AS Sale guard Terrell Stoglin reacted negatively to that signing, telling ESPN that the “Wet Dreamz” rapper joining the league was “disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this.” But after guarding him in one of these games, former Nets and Raptors point guard Ben Uzoh told Complex Cole’s talent was “right beneath” NBA level.