Rapper J. Cole signing with Scarborough Shooting Stars of CEBL

Rapper J. Cole performs at halftime during NBA All-Star basketball game. (Chuck Burton/AP)

“Athletes wanna be rappers, rappers wanna be athletes,” — Lil Wayne

Why not be both?

Superstar rapper J. Cole is signing a contract with the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s Scarborough Shooting Stars, the league announced Thursday.

Cole has released five certified platinum albums, and is one of the most popular artists in the world.

The six-foot-three guard began his professional basketball career last year, joining the Rwanda-based Patriots Basketball Club of the Basketball Africa League (BAL). In three games, he averaged 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

The 37-year-old played high school basketball growing up in North Carolina, and also tried out for St. John’s University in college as a walk-on sophomore, but did not make the team despite being one of the 10 call-backs.

In 2012, Cole participated in the NBA All-Star Game — famously pulling off an alley-oop dunk from comedian Kevin Hart.

The Shooting Stars will tip-off their inaugural season this year, with training camp already underway this week.

Scarborough’s franchise owners are Nicholas (Niko) Carino, one of the founding members of OVO (October’s Very Own) — the lifestyle brand of rap star Drake — and Sam Ibrahim, a founding member of the Playground Global basketball complex.

Cole will likely have to step away from the team for much of the season.

The Shooting Stars’ first game is on May 26 as they visit the Guelph Nighthawks. Their first home game is June 4 against the Hamilton Honey Badgers. 

After that, there’s one more game, June 7, at home against the Newfoundland Growlers before Cole would be able to play prior to going on tour.

Cole is to begin touring on June 10 in New York. When he begins his tour, Scarborough will still have 15 more games left to play.

With files from the Canadian Press

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.