Patriots Basketball Club of Rwanda beat Nigerian side, Rivers Hoopers 83-60 to win the opening game of the inaugural Basketball League Africa in their native Kigali on Sunday.
All eyes were on J. Cole who was making his professional basketball debut as a member of the Patriots and although the team won convincingly, he struggled.
He started well though, getting on the scoreboard with an easy putback immediately after coming on in the first quarter.
He played 17 minutes total and would struggle for most of that time, missing a lay up, a three pointer and turning the ball over on a few occasions to finish with a total of 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Patriots have Brandon Costner to thank for the win, he scored 20 points while Prince Ibeh with 11 points and Dieudonne Ndizeye supported the big man in the winning effort.
Former NBA players Talen Valdis Sullivan and Ben Uzoh scored 15 points and 12 points respectively but the Rivers Hoopers side could not match their Rwandan opponents.
The Nigerians actually started well narrowly winning the first quarter, 18-17, but followed that with terrible performances in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, losing both by double digits and even allowing the Patriots a 19-0 run.
Despite the defeat, Hoopers guard Ben Uzoh made history by being the first player to make the first basket of the Basketball Africa League.
Next game for Rivers Hoopers will be against Tunisian side US Monastir, on Thursday, 20 March at 4:30pm Nigerian time.