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Dennis Rodman to return to North Korea to help train basketball team

Dec. 4, 2013 at 7:29 AM   |   Comments

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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Retired U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time to help train the country's basketball team, the trip's sponsor said.

A spokesman for Paddy Power, the British-based online betting company sponsoring Rodman's trip, said the North Korean team will play at least one exhibition game against former NBA players in January, CNN reported Wednesday.

Rodman, known for his flamboyant behavior, body art and piercings, will be accompanied by a documentary crew when he goes to the reclusive country Dec. 18, Paddy Power spokesman Rory Scott said.

Unclear was whether Rodman, 52, will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom Rodman calls "a very good guy" despite condemnation of North Korea's human rights record.

In February, Rodman told Kim, "You have a friend for life," after they sat beside each other during an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang.

Rodman stresses he isn't operating in any official capacity for the United States, saying instead he believes in "basketball diplomacy."

Scott told CNN the names of the former NBA players Rodman drafted to play in January will be released soon.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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