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Hate it or Love it: Any truth to the rumor that The Game played for WSU?

Taking a closer look at this urban legend.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

For about the past 15 years there has been a persistent rumor that Jayceon Taylor otherwise known as rap star "The Game" played basketball on scholarship at WSU before allegedly being kicked out for dealing drugs. This has pretty much reported as fact by several websites that rank the best athlete/entertainers. There are even websites that list him as one of WSU's most famous alumni. But is this rumor actually true?

As far as I can tell, the rumor dates back to the Game's first feature in Rolling Stone magazine where he told a reporter the story about his abbreviated time in Pullman. This was never backed up with any factual information by the magazine. In a 2008 story by the Tacoma News Tribune, however, the university denies that he was ever part of the basketball program and the drug charges. In addition, Taylor's name does not show up in any article from that time regarding basketball recruiting. Recruiting was not as followed as closely as now in the media, but there was still quite of a bit of information out there. The one link that I can see with Taylor and WSU is that former Cougar Marcus Moore played for the same high school team as Taylor(Compton Dominguez) and that Taylor may or may not have joined the four star recruit in Pullman. Deadspin was skeptical as well in a 2014 article.

Alright, now we're getting into more speculative territory. Game, like Rick Ross, is infamous for the tenuous connection facts have to his self-styled history. To hear him tell it, he was a baller in high school and got a scholarship to Washington State. His career was cut short, though, when he was kicked off the team first semester after being caught with drugs.

Allegedly. In a now-dead link on Wikipedia, Washington State denied ever enrolling a Jayceon Taylor. It didn't deny the offer, though, so who knows what really happened. At the very least, he was good enough to start for a Dominguez High team that fielded Tayshaun Prince and Tyson Chandler, and from videos of him hooping today he still has game. All of that plus his size has me believing he could have been a Division I-quality player.

Unfortunately, based on the information that I can see I'm going to have to conclude that this rumor is most likely false. The Cougar Nation probably can't claim a member of the G-Unit as one of our most famous alumni.


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