It’s no secret that many rappers have wanted to be ball players and a whole lot of hoopers want to rock the mic (often with comical results). But then there are those rare athletes with legitimate bars, and a few emcees who can put it down on the basketball court.
CASSIUS has assembled an all-star lineup of our favorite rappers who make “ballin'” a double entendre and can show out in a celebrity basketball game…and maybe up against your neighborhood hoop stars as well. (Note: this lineup has been selected with the “Small-Ball” scheme in mind; in other words, don’t mind what these guys lack in height, because they can make up for it in buckets.) Check Rock.
Point Guard – Quavo
You may know Quavo as one-third of Atlanta super rap trio Migos, but you may not be familiar with Quavious Marshall, the one-time quarterback at Atlanta’s Berkmar High School. While he didn’t find himself fielding offers from D-1 colleges, the “T-Shirt” rapper did burn through county records for passing yards as a starter. We aren’t sure how much time he’s spending on the football field these days, but recent footage of him joining a run at a local gym in Atlanta–against Shaq’s son Shareef O’Neal, of all people–proves that he has a mean outside jumper and the ability to get to the rim. That kind of versatility would allow for him to be a great point guard, penetrating the defense and creating offense for his teammates.
Shooting Guard – Cam’Ron
Killa Cam. You know he’s a Harlem legend, but did you know that he was once one of the best basketball prospects in New York City? As a student at the Manhattan Center of Math and the Sciences, Cam helped lead his team to defeat the Lincoln High Railsplitters, the Brooklyn high school squad that boasted a star freshman by the name of Stephon Marbury. In the 1992 Public School Athletic League city playoffs, he and a teammate combined for half of his entire team’s points. The scouting report on Killa Cam was that he was a straight up scorer, so putting him at the two-guard spot works on our squad.
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Small Forward – Dave East
Widely regarded as one of the most promising young emcees in the game, Harlem’s own Dave East is doing his part to restore old-school NYC energy into today’s hip-hop landscape. But before he signed his deal with Def Jam Records, he actually accepted a Division 1 scholarship offer to the University of Richmond before ending up at Towson University. Prior to that, East hit the AAU basketball circuit hard, playing for several travel teams while living in the Washington D.C. area. His teammates during that time? Current NBA players Michael Beasley, Ty Lawson, Greivis Vasquez, and the reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Former teammates regard him as him “a silent killer,” a player with a disarmingly calm demeanor who hit bucket after bucket.
Point Forward – The Game
Jayceon Taylor is heralded as one of the most impactful West Coast rappers in recent memory, and before he became The Game, he ran point at Compton High School and local summer leagues. He’s a longtime participant in The Drew League, LA’s premier Pro-Am tourney and one of the biggest tournaments in the country. Participants include some big time names, like Nick Young, James Harden and Baron Davis. For our starting five, The Game is our point forward, initiating the offense and locking down bigger matchups with his size and athleticism.
Center – 2 Chainz
Don’t let the designation of “Center” fool you, 2 Chainz gets buckets—remember, is a “small-ball” lineup we’re going with here. But Tauheed Epps gets to it on the basketball court, once starting at North Clayton High in College Park, Ga. He would later receive an offer to attend Alabama State University where he would play for a full season. Holding down the middle, the artist formerly known as “Tity Boi” brings versatility to the lineup with his capacity for outside shooting.