A member of the Basketball Africa League has complained that the fame of J. Cole, as opposed to his actual skill as a player, is the reason the rapper has a roster spot in the league.
Terrell Stoglin, a guard for the AS Sale team, expressed aggravation to ESPN‘s Leonard Solms about Cole’s lack of on-court production compared to his level of exposure.
“For a guy who has so much money and has another career to just come here and average, like, one point a game and still get glorified is very disrespectful to the game,” he said. “It’s disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their whole lives for this.”
Haydee Ndayishimiye, the chief operations officer of Cole’s team, Patriots BBC, is defending the rapper’s inclusion on the roster
“Of course, someone as famous as him will bring a lot of attention, but one thing the BAL, Patriots BBC and his team have committed to do is to treat him like any other player,” she told ESPN.
“He’s a great basketball player and wants to play the game like everyone else. We understand some other teams may feel this way [as Stoglin does], but we made a basketball decision first.”
The assessment that Cole is a great player is open to debate, considering the farthest he got as a college basketball player was as a walk-on for St. John’s University.
Stoglin is frustrated in part because Cole is obscuring his strong season, which includes a 40-point effort in a recent game. In addition, Stoglin believes that Cole’s roster spot is being taken away from a legitimate player.
At the age of 29, Stoglin has played all around the world in international leagues. That’s led to little fame and fortune for him, something that he thinks Cole is helping to block out by his continued presence in the African league.