FOX Sports Insider
CARSON, Calif. — Let’s get this straight: Trinity Rodman is on the United States women’s soccer team, and yes, she’s Dennis Rodman’s daughter.
For anyone who lived through the ’90s and is interested in the Chicago Bulls, all things Michael and Scottie, and perhaps more importantly, Dennis, anything that warrants a glimpse into the past has one pleasing value.
But just know. Trinity Rodman is more, and deserves to be seen as more than the athletic and talented daughter of an iconic father. The hoop-tied nostalgia piece is fun, but the “now” is downright intoxicating.
That’s because Rodman, the 21-year-old forward on the reigning America squad, has quickly progressed from a standout high school player to one of the best players in the world and deserves attention for so many more reasons than just the name on the Front cover back of their jersey.
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At times, it seemed as if she would rather distance herself from her father’s legacy, and if that were the case, her wishes would demand full recognition. However, family relationships are difficult and change over time.
As things stand, Rodman hasn’t communicated with her five-time NBA champion father recently, but she does speak about him. On Tuesday, at the national team’s official media day, she did so, first speaking about him unsolicited during a casual round-table news session and then providing previously unheard insights.
She went into great detail and there isn’t room for that here, but perhaps the most striking, surprising, and absolutely awesome thing is that not only has she been scouring the internet for years of Dennis’ basketball highlights, but also that she… uses his hardwood techniques still for their own soccer game.
“I’ve watched my dad play a lot more times than people really know,” Trinity Rodman said. “My brother [USC transfer DJ Rodman] I lived to watch my dad’s clips.
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So did young Trinity, despite being born two years after The Worm’s retirement in 2000.
“I think my dad was obviously pretty good at rebounding,” she said. “I think I just always have to chase, when the ball bounces it’s chasing in front of the goal, chasing when you lose the ball. I think that’s a big part of my game: reading, backtracking, and being the first person to get a foot, a head, knee, or shin on something that bounces up.
“Even if he wasn’t the first man under the basket or next to Shaq, who was a lot taller and taller, he was going to get the rebound. It was timing, it was anticipation, it was body movement, it.” It was positioning, that was all. I think he was so intelligent and people believe him. He was a freak of nature and a crazy athlete, but at the end of the day I think he was one of the smartest players out there. Time.”
Talented and fearless on the football field, Rodman is a box office hit, so much so that her club deal with the Washington Spirit is reportedly worth $1.1 million over four years, a whopping sum for the NWSL.
When the captains of the world’s top 50 national teams cast their votes for the Ballon D’Or Femenil, the most prestigious individual award in women’s football, Rodman finished 18th last year despite lacking experience compared to most other teams.
There are advertising contracts with Red Bull, Oakley and adidas. Football knows everything about them. Everyone else is about to find out, as the sport has never received more of a spotlight than World Cup time when the USA take on Vietnam on July 21 (9pm ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App).
When she talks about her father, there’s no mistaking her pride and occasional humor, such as when she was asked if her preparation for the game had any connection with party animal Dennis’ notoriously wild antics. Given that Trinity’s obsession with her craft is already well known, the answer is no.
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There is something else in her voice, perhaps not pure sadness but a perspective reflection. When she was called up to the squad, Shaquille O’Neal gave her a special mention and the side were greeted by a series of celebrity cheers. There was no call from Dennis.
“I did not [hear from him]said Trinity Rodman. “I haven’t had any contact with him for months, but at the end of the day I’m okay with everything.” I know he’s proud of me. I really do.
“He has to mind his own business but he let me know he knew I would be here and that’s all I need.”
She knows the talk about Dennis won’t stop, but there’s a deeper story. The journey of a top athlete receives a lot of support. In Rodman’s case, her mother, Michelle Moyer, the current and devoted mother, was a former track and field athlete who Trinity admits “looks like her” and admits she owes “everything” to her.
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In Australia and New Zealand, the Americans, the two-time reigning champions, will be under scrutiny as always. Rodman will try to drown out the noise with coloring books, reading, journaling and her secret pleasure – “Fortnite.” The focus is always intense on the US team and one of the best aspects of this squad is that there are household names like Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe also sucking up the spectrum.
Rodman is used to the limelight because it’s always been there. As with Bronny James, Arch Manning and other descendants of legends, their famous parent is a part of their history and there’s little that can ever change that.
But this particular story seems long, and on a global scale, it begins now. A multi-layered story with all the complexity that family and relationship issues always bring with them.
She shares the same name as Dennis, but when it comes to opportunities, it’s all hers. As for the chance to add a special X-factor to the USWNT with her skill and drive, she’s there. What about Trinity Rodman’s time? Oh, that’s now.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX And Subscribe to the daily newsletter.
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