The friendship between North Carolina natives Jermaine Cole and Dennis Smith Jr. is truly special.
J Cole, has he is famously called, is one of the top music artists in today’s pop culture scene. DSJ is one of the top rising stars in the NBA. They both share a connection through their roots in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but it doesn’t stop there.
Cole was a talented basketball player in high school and DSJ was one of the highest touted guards in the nation during his high school years. Both men were raised primary in a one parent home. Cole, by his mother, and Smith, by his father. As Smith progressed through high school, Cole would come to games and play pickup with the young basketball phenom. It’s something about the ‘ville that connects people.
DSJ continued his basketball career with a year at NC State. J Cole was notably known to be a UNC Tarheel fan but his ties with Smith came between his fandom for the Heels. Cole attended multiple NC State games during Smith’s freshman year.
“He’s a State fan as long as I’m playing for State.” -DSJ
I personally recall witnessing J Cole sit courtside as the Wolfpack took on UNC in the Dean Dome. NC State lost by 57 points that game but according to DSJ, he was still rooting for the Wolfpack. Cole didn’t leave until the game ending buzzer sounded.
A lot has developed for both Dennis Smith Jr. and Jermaine Cole over the past few years. Cole has produced a platinum album and several singles tracks and collaborations with other artists while Smith is on his way to his second NBA Dunk Contest in two years. Their roads will collide as Cole is set to perform at the half time show of the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte on February 17th.
DSJ was recently traded from the Dallas Mavericks to play for the New York Knicks. J Cole promptly voiced his support: