Dennis Rodman has released the list of athletes who will play in an exhibition basketball game against a top North Korean Senior National team on Jan. 8, marking Kim Jong Un’s birthday in Pyongyang, the Associated Press reports.
Rodman reportedly will lead a team that includes former NBA All-Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker. Craig Hodges, Doug Christie and Charles D. Smith also are on the team, the AP says. Rodman has called basketball his form of diplomacy. Since Kim assumed power from his father in late 2011, Rodman is the highest profile American to meet with him.
“My previous travels have allowed me to feel the enthusiasm and warmth of fans,” Rodman said, according to the AP. “The positive memories and smiles on the faces of the children and families are a testament to the great efforts we have put into fulfilling our mission wherever we go voiding any politics. We are all looking forward to arriving in Pyongyang, meeting the citizens, visiting various charities and using the opportunity to develop new relationships that result in our annual return.”
Rodman, however, has come under fire for failing to use his access to Kim to address North Korea’s human rights record, which has been described as one of the world’s worst by activists, the U.S. State Department and North Korean defectors.
Read more at the Daily News.