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Trinity Rodman on father Dennis’ legacy: ‘I just want to build my own story’

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(Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images)

Trinity Rodman is making her own name.

Her father, NBA legend Dennis Rodman, has a long list of accomplishments. But while they share a list name, the 21-year-old rising star for the U.S. women’s national team wants to create her own legacy.

She already is well on her way. She won an NWSL championship in her rookie season with the Washington Spirit in 2021, became the highest-paid player in NWSL history in 2022 and made her first World Cup roster in 2023.

“People do know Trinity Rodman, sometimes first before Dennis Rodman now,” she told ESPN. “I’m not trying to overcome what he had accomplished. I just want to build my own story.”

Growing up, Rodman “couldn’t accept that people could play a sport just for fun,” she told ESPN. That’s when she realized that soccer was going to be something she pursued at a competitive level. Her mother, Michelle Moyer, knew her daughter’s soccer career “going somewhere” by the time Trinity was 5 years old.

Yet while she sees the reflection of her father in her own competitive spirit, she does not have a close relationship with him.

“Growing up, people always thought that me and my dad had a close relationship and we never did,” she told ESPN. “Living in Newport Beach, my dad was a little bit around, but was still in the party, NBA phase. He wasn’t in our lives.”

When he showed up at one of her matches with the Spirit in November 2021, his presence took her by surprise.

“It was amazing to see him and hear him cheer me on on the sideline, knowing the other half of my parents was proud of me,” she said.

And she still finds reflections of him in her style and her own game. For example, she is “the first one to grab a tie-dye print, or an orange or red” when out shopping. And she’ll watch back her own highlights and see a feistiness that reminds her of her father.

“I watched my dad play a lot more than people really know. I mean, my brother lived watching my dad’s clips. He knows everything and anything there is to know about basketball,” she told the LA Times. “I admire that about him.”

Rodman had not  been in contact with her father “for months” ahead of the USWNT World Cup roster announcement, she told the LA Times. And she didn’t hear anything from him after the roster was announced. But she took that in stride.

“Like I’ve said before, I’ve gotten closure with it all,” she said. “I know he’s proud of me. I truly do. He has his own things to deal with but at the end of the day, he’s communicated to me that he knows I was going to be here, and that’s all I need.”