Exclusive: Rwanda Excited About J. Cole’s Basketball Debut; A Marketing Pro Speaks

A music and marketing insider in Rwanda speaks on the Basketball Africa League.

J. Cole’s arrival to Rwanda has put a spotlight on the African country and also changed the local atmosphere.

Autumn Marie, music publicist and now Founder and Managing Director of KGL FWD a Rwandan based PR and brand marketing agency, says that the whole country is buzzing as Cole has joined the Rwanda Patriots basketball team in the national Basketball Africa League.

Marie told AllHipHop, “I am so excited to know J. Cole is in Rwanda! From a music marketing perspective, to have him drop his highly anticipated album, The Off-Season while he is in town is not just something to celebrate but something to stop and take notice of.”

The 6-foot-3, Grammy-winning rapper will play his first game Sunday vs. Nigeria. Cole played high school basketball in his native Fayetteville, N.C. and has sought to pay professionally for years.

As an American-born music industry vet, Autumn Marie said that J. Cole’s arrival is in a longer line of amazing talents that come to Rwanda.

“It (the Basketball Africa League)  is well-timed and adds him to a longer list of artists such as Teddy Riley, Saul Williams and many others having explored projects in Rwanda in the last couple of years,” she said. It comes at a time when we see African music, fashion, travel and relocation flooding headlines and is part of something much bigger. So yes, I love is that he is here participating in BAL because it will bring more global attention to the games, but more importantly because it will show Rwanda and the African experience to young Black people around the world. After living here for three years, I can’t wait to see J. Cole tell the world about Rwanda!”

“NBA Africa” has been helmed by the National Basketball Association  and FIBA(International Basketball Federation), almost ensuring it it is successful.

The league starts with a will kick off May 16 in a 26-game tournament that it all ends on the 30th of May. Each team will have 12 players players per team, eight of which players must be native to the country. The other team members can be from other countries.

Also, the tournament will be played in Rwanda’s newly built 10,000 seater Kigali Arena.

Rwanda plays host for the league for the next three years, according to rumor.

Check out Cole’s skills on the court.