J. Cole helps Patriots BBC beat Nigerian side on pro basketball
American rap star J. Cole Sunday helped Rwanda side Patriots BBC beat Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers on his professional basketball debut.
J. Cole scored three points, with two assists and three rebounds as Patriots defeated Hoopers 83-60 at the Kigali Arena, Kigali, Rwanda.
The game was the first at the inaugural edition of the Basketball Africa League backed by the NBA.
The 36-year-old award-winning rapper, who released his latest album The Off-Season on Friday, played the sport in high school and university, and has long dreamed of a professional basketball career.
His Rwandan side rallied to win the game after initial dominance by the Nigerians.
Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, who came off the bench, and Prince Ibeh led the Patriots comeback, and the Nigerians couldn’t find any answers.
And to make matters worse for the Hoopers, they got in foul trouble early in the second quarter, and things were never the same.
Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, who established a record for most steals in a single game in the FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers in February, proved crucial defensively on Sunday, making the Hoopers look helpless.
Trailing 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, Ibeh thought it was about time to turn things around.
Ibeh’s two thunderous dunks early in the second quarter ignited the Patriots to a 13-0 run as the hosts took absolute control of the game, and they never looked back, leading at one point by as many as 29 points.
Costner Brandon led all scorers with 20 points and Ibeh contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in the winning cause.