22-Year-Old Gold Medalist Paid Tribute to Dennis Rodman Two Days Before Breaking Multiple UNC Records

Published 01/24/2023, 8:10 AM EST
Dennis Rodman during DJ Irie Birthday at The Forge – Arrivals at The Forge Restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)

Ever since ‘The Last Dance’ premiered back in 2020, Dennis Rodman has come re-emerged into the limelight after years of controversies. His impact on the game of basketball is unquestioned, but that got somewhat lost over the years for a plethora of reasons. However, the documentary reiterated how influential and important ‘The Worm’ was to the Chicago Bulls. That impact has now translated onto the next generation of hoopers as well. We can see constant comparisons of San Antonio Spurs star Jeremy Sochan to the 5x NBA champion. Furthermore, his influence has spread over to college basketball as well.

University of North Carolina star Armando Bacot made history during the Tar Heels win over NC State. The 22-year-old broke UNC’s double-double and all-time rebounding records in the same game. To commemorate the huge achievement, Bacot paid tribute to Rodman in his own special way. Two days before the big game against NC State, Bacot got himself a Rodman tattoo on his calf.

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Breaking records at a university that has produced big men like Antawn Jamison, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and more is a very commendable achievement and Bacot will be looking to continue his fine performances for the Tar Heels.

Armando Bacot creates history

Despite losing the National Championship game last year, Bacot and the rest of the starters earned the nickname, ‘The Iron Five.’ While Bacot was expected to declare for the draft, he announced his return for his senior year with a video. The Tar Heels currently have a record of 14-6 and will be looking forward to going one better than the previous year.

Meanwhile, Bacot created history after he grabbed his 1,220th rebound to surpass North Carolina legend, Tyler Hansbrough to become the all-time rebounding leader. Becoming a college program’s all-time leader is a huge achievement, but doing so with the historic UNC is really something.

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However, Bacot is no stranger to creating history. On top of his current accomplishments, he has achieved various other records during his time with the Tar Heels. He was also part of the gold medal-winning US under-18 basketball team at the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship.

The impact of Dennis Rodman

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Bacot admitted that he was influenced by Rodman’s rebounding and how hard he played. Basically, he loved everything about the Bulls legend. Rodman is one of the greatest rebounders to ever play the game. His determination and willingness to be the best at what he did pushed him to greatness.

Seeing the influence of Rodman on the upcoming generation is great. His contributions to the game of basketball may have gotten lost over the years because of his off-court antics, but this is a step in the right direction.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Dwight Howard, Scottie Pippen, Allen Iverson, Dennis Rodman, and other stars who have played outside the NBA

What are your thoughts on Bacot getting a Rodman tattoo on his calf? Let us know in the comments.

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Pragya Vashisth

230 articles

Pragya is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed Masters in Sports Management from the International Institute of Sports Management, Mumbai, he has been a passionate fan of the NBA since 2010. Pragya is a massive supporter of LeBron James and just wants to enjoy the twilight years of his Hall of Fame career.

Edited By: Jayant Chhabra

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