J. Cole Called Disrespectful by African Basketball League Player

While fans of J. Cole are supportive of the rapper’s decision to play basketball in Africa, a member of the African Basketball League (ABL) takes offense to Cole’s decision to pivot to hooping as a secondary profession.

During an interview with ESPN on Monday (May 24), AS Salé guard, Terrell Stoglin, of the ABL, thinks Cole playing for the league’s Rwanda Patriots is “disrespectful.”

“I think there’s a negative and a positive [to J. Cole playing for the ABL],” the former University of Maryland player told the sports network. “The negative part of it is: I think he took someone’s job that deserves it.”

He continues: “I live in a basketball world. I don’t live in a fan world. I know a lot of guys that had their careers stopped by COVID and they’re still home working out and training for an opportunity like this. 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.”

Speaking on the upside of J. Cole participating in the African Basketball League, Stoglin agrees that the rapper’s celebrity brings exposure to the league. However, the professional baller feels the North Carolina rhymer took the spot of someone who could’ve rightfully earned it.

He adds: “The positive side of it is: it brings a lot of attention, and, I guess, money. I don’t really pay attention to that type of stuff. I’m more… You took someone’s job that deserved it.”

The Dreamville Records founder made his ABL debut last weekend, playing 12 minutes and scoring 50 percent from the field. The Patriots weren’t victorious and were bested by the Union Sportive Monastirienne on May 22. The final score was 91-75.

Earlier this month, J. Cole reportedly signed a contract to play between three and six games with the African basketball team. His first was against the Nigeria River Hoopers on May 16, CBS Sports reported on May 10.

Cole has long had hoop dreams, playing ball for Terry Sanford High School in North Carolina and later walking on at St. John’s University in the 2000s.

However, his calling was rap, so he put down the ball and picked up the mic. Now, it looks like he’s juggling both.

The news of Cole’s official basketball aspirations comes shortly after the release of his The Off-Season album, a title which is thematically based on the sport, similar to prior offerings such as his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, and The Warm Up.

Check out Terrell Stoglin’s full interview with ESPN below.

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