J. Cole signed a professional basketball contract with the Scarborough Shooting Stars in May. Despite his time on the roster coming to an end due to touring obligations, he managed a career-high performance with a pair of three-pointers against the Newfoundland Growlers on Tuesday night (June 7). In an interview following the game, Cole spoke about his experience as a member of the team.
“Man, it’s been phenomenal,” he said. “I was telling the guys in there like, ‘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 how incredible this was. The players, the coaching staff, the organization, the league, it’s a crazy thing when you see it on paper, when you see what’s actually happening, and they made me feel so welcome. Like, really making me a feel like part of the time, everybody embracing me.
“They helped settle nerves and talked me through and teach me, and I’m just on a team with a bunch of amazing guys, so I appreciate them for that. Coaching staff, players and then the league, it’s priceless what they’re allowing me to come in here and do and experience, so I appreciate that.”
The North Carolina rapper also talked about his success and things he wasn’t able to achieve on the basketball court.
“I feel like, one, just getting out here was a success, like the training it took to get here and play at a professional level,” J. Cole explained. “These guys in this league are elite talent here, so to be on the floor with them, be in shape and come out here, that was a success. But on a second side, being able to be who I’ve shown myself I’m capable to be. I maybe had a couple spurts of that, but there’s a lot to learn and a lot of reps that I haven’t got.”
He continued, “So I’m not gonna say I checked that box completely, but moments like tonight, first of all it feels good to get a win, we needed that win. It feels good to see the team chemistry on a high and then of course, to be able to contribute to that a little bit, felt good. So like, there’s little spurts, but nah, I feel like if I didn’t go no further, I would still be like, ‘I never got to the paint!’ You know, little things I would love to see myself do.”
Cole closed out the interview by talking about Canada’s excitement for basketball and the passion shown by the people of Scarborough.
“Being in the city for now four weeks, however long it’s been, the amount of excitement and pride people show, they’re happy that I’m here, I appreciate that,” he said. “They’re excited for basketball in Canada and specifically Toronto. There’s so much pride in Toronto, but Scarborough, I gotta shout out the people of Scarborough. Coming from America, I didn’t really know, so I’ve learned so much.
“The people there feel seen with this basketball team and with this league highlighting them, the people there feel seen and I’m assuming that wasn’t always the case, so I’m proud to be able to add something to Canada and to this talent that’s in Canada. Those guys are incredible, so to get to some extra eyes on them is a pleasure.”