Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has finally met his estranged father after 42 years of separation, following an exhibition game in the Philippines.
Philander Rodman Jr., who has acknowledged fathering 29 children by 16 mothers, says he was happy and surprised that his son agreed to meet him late Wednesday. He tried to meet the basketball Hall of Famer during another game in Manila in 2006.“It was great,” he said on Thursday of the first time he held his son’s hands since they last met in December 1969.
“I’ve been trying to meet him for years. And then last night, boom, I met him. I was really, really happy and very surprised,” he told The Associated Press.
The NBA “Alumni” team, which also included Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and Mitch Richmond, played against former top professional Philippine Basketball Association players in the All-Star Challenge. The Alumni won.
Philander, who has been living in the Philippines for nearly 50 years, said he wanted to explain to his son that he didn’t abandon his family in the United States, but they had only time for greetings and handshakes.
He said he spent only about three minutes with his son, who was also busy signing autographs.
“I really, really felt good,” he said. “It’s the beginning of something new.”
He gave his number to his son who promised to call.
He said his son did not even want to talk about him six years ago, but he was encouraged to try again to meet him after Tuesday’s press conference where the former Pistons and Bulls star invited him to watch Wednesday’s game.