People know that J. Cole loves the game of basketball. He suited up for the Rwanda Patriots in 2021 for his professional debut, and he even covered SLAM magazine as the first rapper to do so. But who knew he had the power to get somebody into the NBA?
Last week, The Charlotte Observer put out an article speaking to Miami Heat player Caleb Martin, and his relationship with J. Cole came up in the conversation. According to the report, Cole assisted Martin in getting a job in the NBA after he was practicing in the Dreamville boss’s private North Carolina gym.
“Yeah, that’s my man,” Caleb Martin told The Charlotte Observer of J. Cole. “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. He saw me working in the gym every day and you could just tell he appreciates guys who grinds like he does and so that’s a blessing for him to lend a hand out there and do what he could.”
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The story goes J. Cole returned from his stay in Africa after his early exit from the Basketball Africa League and saw Martin balling out with his brother Cody Martin. All the best players from the state would come to Cole’s gym, and the rapper couldn’t believe how insanely skilled Caleb was.
The Off-Season rapper found out the Charlotte Hornets cut Caleb before the start of the current season, and he decided to make some calls. He landed on his friend, former player and Miami Heat assistant coach Caron Butler, and that busted the door wide open for Caleb.
“He had reached out to me and told me he had a very, very talented guy that was just wrecking shop up here in North Carolina and he had just got released from the Hornets,” Butler told The Observer. “Obviously, we were still trying to improve on our talent. He reached out to me and I just invited him to an open scrimmage in the summer and from that point on he really earned his way on. But J. Cole having the foresight in knowing Caleb can come and help a contending team was just amazing.”
J. Cole’s eye for basketball talent extends to the younger generation as well. Last week, high school basketball star Hansel Enmanuel starred in the latest ad for Cole’s Dreamer brand.
The Scott Lazer-directed clip titled “The Audacity II” is narrated by the Grammy Award-winning rapper and shows Hansel Enmanuel working up a sweat while executing a dribbling drill in the practice gym.