It looks like J. Cole is keeping his day job.
The 37-year-old hip-hop star stepped away from the mic this spring to follow in the footsteps of rappers from previous generations—Master P, anybody?—by playing professional basketball.
Unlike Percy Miller, who tried out with the Charlotte Hornets back in the day, Cole’s hoop dream was fulfilled north of the border with the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Cole played four games with the team this season before announcing that he’s done with basketball, at least for now, so he can get back to what he does best.
“I was just telling the guys in there I’m going for these shows. I’m not sure if I’ll be back but just in case, I had to let them know like how incredible this was. The players, the coaching staff, the organization, the league,” Cole said in an interview posted to the Shooting Stars’ IG.
Cole tried to make the St. John’s University basketball squad back in ‘04, but the team didn’t take him his first year. His music career took off shortly thereafter. But the episode has become part of the team’s lore, leaving an ongoing debate among coaches about whose decision it was to cut the now-superstar.
When he was on the court for the Shooting Stars, the 6-foot-3 Cole played guard for the Shooting Stars. It wasn’t the first time he went overseas to indulge his dream of playing professional basketball.
Last year, he played three games for the Rwanda Patriots of the 12-team Basketball Africa League. But not every player there was thrilled with his brief presence.
Cole is slated to start touring with three dates at the Bonaroo Music + Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., this week. After that, it’s off to a series of July dates in Great Britain and the Netherlands before the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago at the end of next month, according to Ticketmaster.