J. Cole's own sideline story is finally coming full circle on the court -- the guy just made his professional debut as a basketball player ... and he did it in none other than Africa!
The rapper -- who's fresh off a fire sixth studio album -- put on his hooping shoes this weekend not too long after signing a brief three-to-six game contract with the Rwanda Patriots Basketball Club, which is part of the Basketball Africa League.
On Sunday, the club was set to face off against Nigeria's Rivers Hoopers -- a game that was broadcast on national television here in the States. Sure enough, it looks like Cole was part of the starting five at tip-off -- and the dude showed off his famed athleticism early and often.
Different clips captured from the game show Jermaine grabbing rebounds, playing D and hustling up and down the court. He even got his first bucket with a put-back after one of his teammates attempted a layup. It's clear -- the dude can still ball, even at the ripe age of 36.
We say "still" because -- whether you're aware or not -- J. Cole is a noted hooper ... having played competitively in high school and even earning himself a walk-on spot with the St. John's Red Storm team for a while. He ended up leaving basketball behind to pursue his career in music -- but like many among the rich and famous, Cole can hold his own.
He played for the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game back in 2012, and proved himself there ... and now, it looks like he's getting back to his on-court roots in a whole other country.
Unclear what the end game for Cole is here -- but by the looks of it ... he's taking this contract pretty seriously, and based on how big a draw he is -- they may even extend him.
The Patriots ended up beating the Hoopers with a score of 83-60, and while Cole didn't have the most impressive stat line -- he only had three points in the end -- the guy plays hard, and seems to be able to put asses in the seats. Go figure!