Dave East is, in all likelihood, a better rapper and basketball player than you.
The Harlemite joined SLAM Magazine for an interview at a Bronx gym, where he revealed that before rap he was an aspiring pro player, playing in the AAU and even earning a scholarship while playing for both the University of Richmond in Virginia and Towson University in Baltimore.
“He very easily could have played overseas,” says his former coach Eddie Lee Jackson. “He was 6’5″ and could shoot and could handle the ball. Those guys aren’t everywhere.”
During his days in the AAU, East would play with the likes of NBAers Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley, and even San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
His issues with the coaching staff at both Richmond and Towson would ultimately leave Dave back in East Harlem. However, he gained a valuable friend who would actually help him launch his music career: Kevin Durant.
(See if you can spot Dave in this picture.)
Though [Change of Plans, in 2010] went mostly under the radar, there was one old friend who was impressed: KD.
“He was like, “Yo, that’s you rapping? That’s crazy,'” Dave recalls. “He was like, ‘I got a studio in the crib. Whenever you free and you wanna come out here, I’ll make sure you get out here.’ I was like, I’m free right now.”
(And like that, East was on a plane to OKC, where he stayed with Durant for a week and a half to record his 2011 mixtape American Greed.)
So, essentially, KD helped kick off Dave East’s career by giving him the much-appreciated motivation he needed. Small world, right?