News

Dennis Rodman to train Korean basketball team

Dennis Rodman to train Korean basketball team

Former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks to the media during a news conference in New York, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. Rodman is going back to North Korea, and he says he will bring a team of former NBA players with him. Days after returning from his second trip to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Rodman announced plans to stage two exhibition games there in January. Photo: Associated Press/John Minchillo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former NBA player Dennis Rodman will train a North Korean basketball team that will play a pair of exhibitions against a U.S. team in the isolated country in January, Rodman said on Monday following his second visit to North Korea this year.

Rodman also told a news conference North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “wants to change” and said he would conduct the first-ever television interview with Kim, a man Rodman has called a friend.

Rodman met with Kim in North Korea during his five-day trip that ended on Saturday. It followed a four-day visit in February, shortly after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

Rodman said he was going back to North Korea for a week in December to assemble a North Korean team and train it for two games against an American team on January 8, Kim’s birthday, and January 10. He did not identify the teams.

Kim’s date of birth remains publicly unconfirmed and he is believed to be 30.

Succeeding his father and grandfather as leader of the secretive and impoverished Asian country, Kim has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test in February, which drew condemnation from around the world.

At that time North Korea said the test had “greater explosive force” than those it conducted in 2006 and 2009.

The goal of the games was “to open doors,” said Rodman, an expert rebounder and defensive player who won NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls and was known for his flamboyant hair styles, cross-dressing and relationship with Madonna.

“This country is not bad because the marshal (Kim), now, he wants to change,” Rodman, 52, said of Kim. “If you meet the marshal over there, he’s a very good guy.”

According to Rodman, Kim told him: “I want you to go over to America and say, ‘Guess what?’ We want people to come over here because we’re not a bad country.'”

Latest Headlines

in Local

Maine Senate Promotes Tolerance After Facebook Post Flap

Photo: Associated Press/Charles Dharapak

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) The Maine Senate is promoting cultural and religious tolerance after a member of the chamber was criticized…

in Local

Former State Lawmaker Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

GENERIC COURT LARGE

A former state lawmaker who previously went to prison for equity skimming has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting visa and marriage fraud and to making false statements.

in Local

Getaway Driver in Maine Robbery Sentenced to 15 Years

GENERIC COURT LARGE

Federal prosecutors say a Biddeford, Maine, man is being sentenced to 15 years in prison for serving as the getaway driver during a 2013 dollar store robbery.

in Local

Maine Skilled Nursing Facility Agrees to Pay $1.2M to Feds

GENERIC MONEY LARGE

Federal prosecutors say an elderly living center has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations of inflated Medicare claims for rehabilitation therapy.

in Local

LePage Ally to Manage Forestry Activities on Public Lands

GENERIC APPLE TREES

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has appointed the head of the Maine Forest Service to manage forestry activities on state-owned lands.

Tweets

  • 8h
  • 8h
  • 8h
  • 9h
  • 10h
  • 10h
  • 11h