Dennis Rodman. Image via flickr / OPEN Sports
Diplomat may not be a word that comes to mind when one thinks of current Harlem Globetrotter Dennis Rodman, but the former NBA star is taking on the role with his current trip to North Korea. Rodman is currently visiting the country with three other members of the Globetrotters as part of a joint documentary project between VICE and HBO, set to air in April.
The trip is about promoting “basketball diplomacy” reported The Washington Post yesterday. It is also about “finding common ground on the basketball court” said VICE founder Shane Smith. Rodman and fellow Globetrotters Bull Bullard, Buckets Blakes and Moose Weekes will be running a basketball camp for children and playing a friendly game with the country’s top basketball players.
Though North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un is said to be a huge basketball fan, it is not yet certain whether he will meet with Rodman and his teammates. “When I discussed with Dennis the invite to go to North Korea and meet with Kim Jong and the Korean national basketball team as part of a documentary for HBO, he knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a fun shoot around playing basketball and would give him the chance to speak directly to Kim Jong that the only way to go is with peace not war.” Said Rodman’s agent however, speaking to the Associated Press about the trip.
Meanwhile, tensions between North Korea, the United States and the UN continue to rise as a result of continued nuclear testing in North Korea and shared South Korean-United States military exercises.