Trinity Rodman making a name for herself

The daughter of NBA star Dennis Rodman wants to "pave her own path" in sport outside her father’s stardom.

By Evelyn Watta
Picture by 2017 Getty Images

Trinity Rodman is putting her own name in the spotlight.

The daughter of five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman, impressed in her National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) debut - scoring a goal for the Washington Spirit against North Carolina Courage.

Rodman subbed on for Kumi Yokoyama in the 55th minute and scored five minutes later, becoming the youngest American player to score in the league.

Despite making the most of her professional football debut, the Spirit lost 3-2.

After becoming the youngest player to ever to be drafted in the NWSL, interest has risen in the 18-year-old.

2nd in NWSL Draft

Rodman made headlines in January after being selected second in the NWSL draft by Washington Spirit.

The U.S. under-20 forward was picked by the team following her heroic performances at the 2020 CONCACAF U20 Women's Championship in March 2020 where she scored eight goals. Her two goals in the final against Mexico helped USA clinch a sixth U20 Women's Championship title.

"To even just be in the draft with my situation and my age is insane, but to be number two to an amazing team is out of this world, I couldn't ask for anything more," Rodman said after her selection behind Emily Fox.

Fox, the University of North Carolina defender, was picked first by Racing Louisville.

Picture by 2017 Getty Images

The 'perfect time' to turn pro

Rodman never played a game for her college Washington State team because the season was postponed due to the pandemic.

"I'm at a point right now where I could be at that level to get even better than I would be in college, so I was just kind of like, 'let's just go, I want to get better. Let's go.'" - Trinity Rodman told on turning pro

“Obviously this has been my dream forever. Honestly a lot of people can say its not the right time (to turn pro), but right now I think it’s a perfect time to get in there and learn and become a better player," she said of her move to the NWSL, in which the Spirit placed fifth in the 2019 season.

But Rodman, a finalist for U.S. Soccer's Young Female Player of the Year, doesn’t want to play in her father’s shadow.

“He was an amazing athlete, and I got those genes from him, but I'm excited to be known as Trinity Rodman and not just as (Dennis) Rodman's daughter," she said of her NBA Hall-of-Fame father, who was best known for his aggressive defence and rebounding abilities.

"I'm excited to pave my own path and get better throughout this journey."

Despite all the attention she has garnered from her father's basketball success, the teen is eager to give praise to her mother, who she says is her role model.

"Having a dad like I do, no one asks about my mom because she’s obviously not an NBA star, but I just want people to know that my mom’s been my support system in everything in life and she’s my best friend and my rock,” Rodman told The Guardian.

“I don’t think people know how close we are and, even though she wasn’t in the NBA, she has an extremely competitive and driven mindset, and she’s an extremely strong woman."

A family of sporting stars

She was inspired to move to Washington by her older brother Dennis Thayne ‘DJ’ Rodman.

DJ is a forward for Washington State's college basketball team.

“Once DJ went to Washington, I told my mom I’m not leaving California, I’m not going to Washington because she was pushing me, she wanted us at the same school,” Trinity told Pac-12 Networks TV.

“Then I went up to DJ’s school, I got to meet the soccer team, I got to see one of their games, I got to see DJ at school doing his thing and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to be here!”