Football fans in the US have jokingly asked who ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman is after his 18-year-old daughter, Trinity, became the youngest player ever to have been chosen in a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft.
USA women’s national team under-20s forward Rodman was snapped up by the Washington Spirit, who used the second pick in the annual draft to sign the hotly-tipped prospect and scorer of two goals in a match against Mexico last March.
That helped the national side qualify for the World Cup, and 5ft 10in Rodman had been due to play for the Spirit before the pandemic put paid to the college season.
Rodman has described her father – a five-time NBA winner known for his flamboyance – as an “amazing athlete” and acknowledged that she “got those genes from him”, although she has emphasized that she intends to be known as an elite player in her own right.
— Washington State Soccer (@WSUCougarSoccer) January 14, 2021
“Obviously [my dad] was an amazing athlete and I got those genes from him but I’m just excited to be known as Trinity Rodman, not Dennis Rodman’s daughter”YOU HEARD TRINITY pic.twitter.com/HPpc464i50
— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) January 14, 2021
“This has been my dream forever,” Rodman said after the draft, speaking in the company of her mother, Michelle Moyer, who became her father’s second wife in a nine-year marriage after Rodman briefly wed celebrity Carmen Electra.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4 years old. Right now I think it’s the perfect time to get in there and learn and become a better player.”
Some sensitive supporters criticized media outlets for making mention of Rodman in headlines about the draft.
“Who’s Dennis Rodman.” (I kid, I KID! sorta)
— Women’s Hoops Blog (@WomensHoopsBlog) January 14, 2021
He’s a HOF’er. A 5x champion. A living legend. A rock star who dated Madonna and Carmen Electra. He played in the NBA for well over a decade.
— Come Fly With Black (@ComeFlyWithBlac) January 14, 2021
“Who’s Dennis Rodman?” asked one, while an admirer described his daughter as an “unreal” player.
Another asked: “Will we see the same exuberance and eccentricity from Trinity as we saw from her rather famous dad?”
Rodman made no mention of the move to his millions of social media followers, but his daughter made her first Twitter post in more than two years – having previously retweeted a post by lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret about reality star Kendall Jenner – to correct stories that mistakenly reported her age as 20.
Reacting on Instagram, the ecstatic prodigy grinned: “So beyond thankful. Holy cow, is this real?
“I just want to say thank you to every single human being that’s posted to me, supported me, congratulated me.
“Every single post means so much to me and, honestly, a lot of them made me cry. My dream just came true and seeing how many people support me is the best thing in the world.
“I’m so excited for the future and I want to thank all of you guys for being so amazing towards me.”