R. Kelly Signs Pro Basketball Deal

April 25 [7:55 EST] -- If basketball star Shaquille O'Neal can launch a rap career, why can't R&B singer R. Kelly play professional basketball?

Kelly, who prophetically sang "I Believe I Can Fly" on the "Space Jam" soundtrack, is indeed taking it to the hoop starting May 2, as a guard for the Atlantic City, New Jersey Seagulls, of the United States Basketball League.

Kelly's the first music star we know of to enter the pro hoop ranks.

Kelly, who will wear number 12 in honor of his "12 Play" album, toured last year with a collapsible basketball court for use between shows.

"We'll hit the college of whatever city we're in, let 'em know that I'm in town, and I'm looking for some guys to beat, and that gets them kind of pumped up to play me," [900k QuickTime] Kelly told MTV News recently of his basketball habits on the road.