Born in New Jersey as the eldest of 29 kids, Rodman's father -- his name really is Philander -- left when Dennis was five years old. His impoverished mother worked odd jobs. Rodman was a horrible athlete in high school and even quit the basketball team. After graduation, he worked nights as janitor at the Dallas-Forth Worth Airport. He also went through a growth spurt, growing to 6 foot 7 inches. A family friend tipped off a college coach who offered him a chance to play. In the 1986 NBA draft, the 25-year-old was selected by the Detroit Pistons as a second round pick.
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