Hip hop star J. Cole learns firsthand why Dennis Smith Jr. is so highly rated


J. Cole learned about Dennis Smith Jr.'s athletic ability firsthand. / Getty Images

J. Cole learned about Dennis Smith Jr.’s athletic ability firsthand. / Getty Images

Dennis Smith Jr. has amassed millions of views on his highlight videos for his propensity to throw down ferocious dunks; usually at the expense of a defender turned poster victim.

But it was his block during a pickup game last weekend at Honeycutt Elementary (Fayetteville, N.C.) that may very well go down as his most memorable highlight.


It was against one of hip hop’s biggest stars – J. Cole.

“He came out aggressive the first game and scored a good amount of his team’s buckets,” Smith said of the Grammy nominated artist. “Then I was like, ‘Wow, dude can hoop for real!’ It was more competitive than I expected, and that in itself was respectable.”

Cole, whose album 2014 Forest Hills Drive dropped on Dec. 9, was in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C., and wanted to meet the Trinity Christian (Fayetteville, N.C.) star, who is the top ranked point guard in the ESPN 60 for 2016.

It was J. Cole’s idea for the two to square-off; he’s known as one of hip hop’s best hoopers.

Still, on this particular play, he got an up-close look at Smith’s exceptional athleticism.

J. Cole took a pass at the top right of the key then swung the ball to his teammate on the right wing and made a textbook cut for the give-and-go.

That’s when J. Cole’s teammate made a crisp pass to him and he attempted to finish the play with a right-handed layup.

Too bad Smith was on the backline; he sprung up and swatted J. Cole’s shot off the middle of the backboard before it went sailing out of bounds.

J. Cole’s post layup-denial course of action?

A quick dap-up.

Respect achieved.

The feeling was mutual for Smith.

“He can definitely hoop,” Smith said. “It was a good run; definitely looking forward to the next one!”

Check out the big block below.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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