While followers of Trinity League boys’ basketball won’t have the opportunity to see Bol Bol dunk in their gymnasiums this winter, another talented transfer with a high-profile father should be fun to watch.
D.J. Rodman, the son of former NBA star Dennis Rodman, transferred to JSerra from Corona del Mar High in late September and has quickly made an impact with the Lions.
The 6-foot-4 junior small forward scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the second half of a 62-55 victory against Marina in the season opener on Nov. 28.
Zach Brogdon was impressed with Rodman’s ability to get others involved early in his team debut and take over the scoring late.
“He’s such an unselfish person, naturally, that he tends to want to set others up,” Brogdon told the Los Angeles Times after the game. “In the second half, I thought he was the best player on the court.”
Rodman averaged 20.3 points and 6.5 rebounds as a sophomore at Corona del Mar last season, leading the Sea Kings to the Pacific Coast League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division I-A quarterfinals.
“It’s going to be a big loss on the court, but I think it’s a bigger loss for us off the court, for the guys,” Corona del Mar coach Ryan Schachter told the Times back in September. “He’s such a great guy. He’s close with everyone on the team.”
The change of scenery has been eye-opening for Rodman, but not as difficult as expected.
“It’s hard to explain because it is such a different experience with these guys,” Rodman said following his debut with the Lions. “I’ve known CdM for my whole high school career so far, but I really love [JSerra]. It’s really easy coming in and fitting in with these guys.”
Bol Bol made waves when the 7-2 center transferred to Mater Dei last November, then had to wait until early January to make his debut because of Southern Section transfer rules. He averaged 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds in 15 games as a junior, but the anticipation of watching Bol play as a senior at Mater Dei was eliminated when he transferred to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. in early November.
The JSerra boys’ basketball team wasn’t the only beneficiary of the Rodman family’s decision to transfer.
The Lions also welcomed D.J.’s sister, Trinity Rodman, a sophomore who was the top girls’ soccer player for Corona del Mar last season. She joins a JSerra team that won CIF-SS Division I and Southern Regional State championships last season and appear even stronger this season.
Trinity is a member of the U.S. women’s under-17 national soccer team and has committed to UCLA.
Dennis Rodman was just 5-9 when he graduated from South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas. Unlike his son, Dennis barely got off the bench while he was in high school, but then grew 10 inches over the next two years and eventually starred one year at the junior college level and then at Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he led the NAIA at 17.8 rebounds for his senior season.
Rodman would go on to lead the NBA in rebounds for a record seven consecutive years and he won five NBA championships. In 2011, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
D.J. and Trinity live with Rodman’s ex-wife, Michelle Rodman-Demarco.