USWNT forward Trinity Rodman didn’t get much help from her dad, Dennis, during rise to stardom

Lugging around her dad’s legacy was never easy, but Trinity Rodman admits she has the athletic genes and feistiness that propelled her dad to rebounding dominance and five NBA titles.

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Trinity Rodman grew up without any guidance whatsoever from absent father Dennis Rodman. But the last name always weighed on her. Sometimes that name was good; more often it was bad.

Trinity Rodman grew up without any guidance whatsoever from absent father Dennis Rodman. But the last name always weighed on her. Sometimes that name was good; more often it was bad.

Andrew Cornaga/AP

I can’t imagine having Dennis Rodman as my father.

Dennis the Dad just doesn’t compute.

And yet women’s national soccer team star Trinity Rodman is, indeed, Rodman’s daughter, and she has spent her life being molded by that fact.

Born in 2002, two years after Dennis last played in the NBA, Trinity has carved a path for herself as an elite athlete that is not only commendable but also — again, because of her dad’s shadow — inspirational.

A prodigy in soccer, Trinity grew up without any guidance whatsoever from absent Dennis. But the last name always weighed on her. Sometimes that name was good; more often it was bad.

The famous surname could make people pay attention or make them prejudge her as a spoiled, pampered, super-wealthy show-off, a junior image of her unpredictable, spotlight-loving, often self-destructive dad. But she was none of those things.

Her single mother, Michelle Moyer, raised Trinity and older brother DJ in a sports-minded home that was as close to normal as one supposes it could be, all things considered. Little about Michelle and Dennis’ marriage was normal, including the fact that even before the divorce, the pair lived in houses two miles apart in Newport Beach, California.

As you might recall, Rodman partied hard in Newport Beach, getting busted constantly, including one time for hanging out with pals way past business hours at his own restaurant, and another time — this one to celebrate his 40th birthday — for illegally arriving on the beach in a helicopter.

A role model for kids, Dennis was not. Nor were his two children with Moyer (he has an older daughter by a different woman) part of any money train coming in from Rodman’s high jinks.

Indeed, Moyer says she and the kids were broke and homeless at times, forced to live in motels and even their car. One can only imagine what it was like for the Rodman kids to see images of their father online in a wedding dress, with a blond wig and feathery veil, “marrying myself,’’ or hanging out with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, his self-proclaimed “dear friend for life.’’

Trinity maneuvered through this thicket with admirable grace and determination, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic caused what would’ve been her first college season at Washington State to be canceled, making her hurry to turn pro. At 18, she became the youngest player drafted into the National Women’s Soccer League when she was picked by the Washington Spirit.

The league had seldom seen the kind of quickness, aggressiveness and skill that Rodman brought to the field. That first year, she won the NWSL Rookie of the Year award, was named to the NWSL Best 11 team and won the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award.

In 2022, she signed a four-year contract extension for $1.1 million, making her the highest-paid player in league history.

And now she’s on the world stage, having played her first World Cup game against Vietnam and second against the Netherlands. The U.S. team wasn’t satisfied with its play after the first two games, but for Trinity Rodman, there always have been issues to overcome.

Being a mixed-race child — her mom is white — and lugging around her dad’s legacy was never easy. She’s only 5-6½ and 130 pounds — Dennis is 6-8 — but she admits she has the athletic genes and feistiness that propelled her dad to rebounding dominance and five NBA titles.

But that fatherly guidance, it was just never there.

“Growing up, people always thought that my dad and me had a close relationship,’’ Trinity said in an interview. “We never did.’’

Brother DJ, a basketball player at USC, sent a Father’s Day salute on Instagram to his mom, calling her “the person who played both father and mother figures for my whole life.”

Dennis Rodman is not a bad guy. He just always seemed lost, clueless about how to be an adult. Or a dad. After all, his own absentee father, Philander Rodman, reportedly had 29 kids with 16 women.

“It’s hard for me,’’ Dennis has said of being a dad. “It’s very hard for me to try to break out of that cycle.’’

But humans are tough and resilient. And some are transcendent.

Trinity Rodman seems to be one.

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