The Scarborough Shooting Stars basketball team kicked off its inaugural season Thursday night with newly signed guard J. Cole. And Drake refused to miss any of the action.
The OVO rapper shared a series of Instagram posts documenting Cole’s Canadian Elite Basketball League debut, in which he and the Shooting Stars took on the Guelph Nighthawks.
“It’s real @scarboroughshootingstars,” Drizzy captioned a photo of the game’s broadcast. “My brother just checked in.”
Drake also posted clips of the Shooting Stars’ warmup: “Cole World. Legendary Shit,” he wrote. “First game on now.”
Cole reportedly signed with the Shooting Stars back earlier this month, about a year after he played with the Rwanda Patriots in the Basketball Africa League. Drake apparently played a role in the Cole’s Shooting Stars deal, as it was first discussed during Drizzy’s birthday party back in October. Shooting Stars co-owner Nicholas “Niko” Carino recalled the moment during a recent interview with Complex.
“You know, Dreamville and OVO are family,” said Carino who is also a co-founder of Drake’s OVO imprint. “Drake had a birthday party in L.A. last year. The conversation was, ‘I heard you have your team.’ It organically grew from there.”
Although Cole’s connections to Drake were clearly beneficial, Shooting Stars’ vice president suggested it was his talent and work ethic that secured his spot on the team.
“He just wants to be treated the same, which I thought was very admirable because he is a very special individual,” said Jamaal Magloire. “As far as the talent that he has, he’s played this game at a professional level in Africa, so, this is his second stint. We’re bringing him in here to play, contribute, and help us win games. That’s his goal as well. It’s gonna be fun and something that is great for the city of Scarborough and Toronto.”
The Shooting Stars will take on the Montreal Alliance this Sunday.