Though he's a world-famous rapper first, the accolades J. Cole has earned in the world of basketball are crazy.
He's played professionally for the Rwanda Patriots in the NBA's Basketball Africa League. He has his own signature shoe with Puma. Cole even helped one NBA player reignite his career and land a contract with the Miami Heat.
The Charlotte Observer shared that Cole played a crucial role in introducing guard Caleb Martin to Caron Butler, an assistant coach for the Heat.
Caleb – who played a couple of seasons for the Charlotte Hornets until 2021 – stopped by Cole's private gym in North Carolina and wowed him with his play in a few pickup games.
Cole reportedly said, "How does this guy not have a deal? He's killing me, everybody.'" After seeing Martin continue to work at the gym, Cole hit up Butler, who secured workout sessions for Martin and the Heat.
The 26-year-old signed a deal and is now averaging over 9 points per game. "It shows that even though he's accomplished a lot of things . . . and he's got so many other things to worry about, he worries about his people. And it's dope he considers me one of his people that he takes into account and he knew my situation," Martin said of Cole.
"He saw me working in the gym every day and you could just tell he appreciates guys who grind like he does, and so that's a blessing for him to lend a hand out there and do what he could."
One fun fact about Cole's own basketball career is why he chose #15 as his jersey number. He used this number not only when he played high school but during his stint with the Rwanda Patriots.
Well, Vince Carter wore #15 for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in the late 1990s, "immortalizing" it for Cole and many other fans. Carter also inspired this fan-favorite line from Cole: "H**s jump like Vince Carter, backstage like they a part of production."