The Gorgeous Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - The List (2024)

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ByRebecca David

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After years of struggling to overcome biases, receive higher representation in the media, and enjoy increased support from viewers, women in collegiate sports have taken massive strides toward gender equality. Statistics provided by the NCAA show that more women are competing in and leading collegiate sports programs across the country than ever before, an achievement that Managing Director of the NCAA's Office of Inclusion, Amy Wilson, celebrated in a comment for the NCAA's news team. "This is an opportune time to celebrate some of the positive trends for women's participation and leadership in intercollegiate athletics," Wilson said. "Most importantly, it's critical to recommit to increasing the number of women across all dimensions of diversity who are playing, coaching and administering college sports."


Haley and Hanna Cavinder are the dynamic twin duo who,on top of beingknown for their commendable basketball skills,utilized their social media presence and business-minded approach when it came to the 2021 Supreme Court ruling surrounding financial compensation for the usage of college athletes' name, image, and likeness.

Like Nikki and Brie Garcia, thestunning WWE duo also known as the Bella Twins, the Cavinder twins have gone on to capitalize on multiple business opportunities, invest in their futures, embrace social media fame, and show their fans that women shouldn't have to shy away from success in the public eye. But before they became college superstars and successful entrepreneurs, Haley and Hanna were just kids who loved playing basketball.


Haley and Hanna Cavinder were born one minute apart

Haley and Hanna Cavinder were born in South Bend, Indiana, on January 13, 2001, to their parents, Katie and Tom Cavinder. Haley entered the world first, arriving one minute earlier and weighing one pound heavier than Hanna.Though Haley and Hanna look a lot alike and share a deep-seeded love of basketball, the sisters are actually fraternal twins;identical twins are rarer than you might think.


The twins are the middle children of their family, having two older sisters, Brooke and Brandi Cavinder, and one younger sister, Nicole Cavinder. Though Haley and Hanna were born in Indiana, they only spent a few of their earliest childhood years there before relocating to Arizona, where the five Cavinder sisters did the bulk of their growing up.

Hanna and Haley spent more time with each other than they do with their other sisters due to their shared interests and closeness in age, but they still have tight-knit relationships with their other sisters. They even shared the same court with big sister Brandi in high school. As Brandi told theEast Valley Tribune, "Even though I'm older than them, I still look up to them. They'll do some cool stuff, and they'll teach it to me...we just get along really well."


The Cavinder twins have been talented since they were children

Like the rest of their siblings, Haley and Hanna Cavinder took an interest in sports from a very early age. However, the twinstook their interest further than the other Cavinder girls. Their intensity and natural talent immediately set them on a track to immense athletic success, even when competing against seemingly unfair competition. As ESPN's Alexa Phillipou noted, the twins were a force to be reckoned with on the court early on, and they were bumped up to older age brackets in local leagues when they were still in elementary school.


The twins' prowess only continued to flourish.Even before they started high school, they'd received a Division 1 offer. They made Gilbert High School's varsity basketball team their freshman year. They continued to play for the team for all four years of high school, all the while continuing to work toward becoming college athletes.The 5-foot-6 twins might not be the tallest players the sport has ever seen, but clearly, their skills, tenacity, and athleticism made up for it.

While they are clearly two incredibly competitive people, by all accounts, it sounds like the Cavinder twins never let sibling rivalry get the better of them. When it comes to playing the same sport, it sounds like Haley and Hanna have a relationship much like Serena and Venus Williams' healthy and supportive sibling dynamic.


The Cavinder twins started their collegiate basketball career at Fresno State

After having put forth immense effort toward their basketball performances in high school, Haley and Hanna Cavinder achieved their dreams of being collegiate athletes. In 2019, they started at Fresno State University and joined the women's basketball team. Haley and Hanna's ability and desire to work together as a cohesive unit helped the program excel; the Fresno State Bulldogs made itall the way to theMountain West Conference women's basketball tournament duringthe twins' first season. (They ultimately lost to Boise State in overtime.) If there's one thing their commendable sportsmanship and enduring closeness proves, it is that these two definitely are not a set of celebrity siblings who can't stand each other.


During their time at Fresno State, they served as key players, broke records, and spent the majority of the games on the court. Haley broke the NCAA record for free throw percentage in a season, and Hanna set the record for free throws in a year made by a freshman.However, being at a mid-major school like Fresno State posed a problem for their next big goal: playing in the March Madness tournament.

Though they had performed well on Fresno State's team, the likelihood of making the national NCAA tournament was unlikely for that program, so Hanna and Haley were faced with a choice ahead of their senior year: try again in Fresno, or make the move to a team more likely to help them achieve their dream?


The Cavinder twins went viral on TikTok by accident

During their freshman season at Fresno State University, Haley and Hanna Cavinder's sports careers all but came to a screeching halt as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Students left their institutions and returned home in compliance with CDC guidelines, and the Cavinders were no exception.


During the days of social distancing, the Cavinder twins more or less fell into TikTok stardom. Hanna and Haley initially began making TikToks to ward off the monotony of being cooped up in their family home, not to garner millions of views and followers. Needless to say, they did not predict that their attempt to entertain themselves would lead to such incredible opportunities. Theirfirst viral TikTok featured the twins dribbling to Ricky Desktop's "The Chicken Wing Beat." "I was like, 'We should dribble to the sound of this beat,'" Hanna recalled in a 2022 episode of "We Need to Talk." "The next morning ... it had probably 100,000 views."

The twins' parents told GQ that they were a little perplexed by their internet endeavors at first. As mom Katie Cavinder said, "My husband and I would be like, Why are you guys dancing around in front of your phone? How in the heck how are you going to make money from that?" Evidently, she didn't realize at the time thatTikTok is a social media platform where creators have massive earning potential.Incredible internet fame and success was just around the corner for her daughters.


The Cavinder twins were some of the first athletes to take NIL deals in 2021

In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that compensation for athletes cannot be limited to education-related expenses like tuition, room and board, or meals. This meant collegiate players could accept payment for using their name, image, and likeness. After the monumental ruling, Hanna and Haley Cavinder were among the first student-athletes to sign brand deals. They partnered with Boost Mobile and SixStar Pro Nutrition while still at Fresno State University and even appeared on a billboard in Times Square that read, "Cavinder Twins & Boost Mobile sign first deal in collegiate NIL History on Icon Source marketplace."


The Cavinder twins were ecstatic to help usher in this new era of college sports, and they expressed how thrilled they were to see student-athletes be compensated for the support they draw to their educational institutions. As Haley told ESPN, "This is a big switch for all student-athletes. Being able to use your name, image and likeness is something we all deserve, and I'm really thankful the NCAA is finally passing this."

Haley and Hanna also took to Instagram on their separate accounts to post a photo of themselves posing with the "first dollar" they earned from their NIL deals. As Haley'sInstagram post caption read, "The dollar we're holding symbolizes the first time STUDENT athletes have had the opportunity to be financially compensated for their Name, Image and Likeness and I couldn't be more excited for that to happen!"


The Cavinder twins transferred to Miami after three years in Fresno

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Hanna and Haley Cavinder ultimately made the decision to leave Fresno State for their senior year and join a team that would lead them to the NCAA Tournament. Regarding this decision, Haley toldESPN, "We put so much time into the game, and we wanted to get to the March Madness tournament ... At the mid-major level, it's hard. It's really, really hard, and we tried for three years. So I'm like, 'Let's position ourselves to try to meet that goal.'"


The Cavinder twins decided to make the University of Miami their new home after meeting with the women's basketball coach, Katie Meier, and discussing the dynamics of her team and her coaching style. They were looking for a coach who would be honest with them, and push them past their comfort zone so they could become better players.

The University of Miami was not the only other institution they looked into after deciding to leave Fresno. Haley and Hanna visited the University of Southern California and Arizona State University as well, but ultimately, they felt they belonged in the Sunshine State. As Haley told the AP, "When we got on campus, there was just a vibe and a feeling you get when you know it is the right decision."


The Cavinder twins started investing their NIL money in their future

Since signing their first NIL deals is 2021, Haley and Hanna Cavinder have earned approximately $2 million through their brand deals, and though the money seems to be coming in a steady flow, the twins are continuously grateful for their opportunities to grow financially, and they are well on their way to becoming well-versed businesswomen.


In an interview with Fox Business, Hanna explained that both she and her sister understand the importance of financial literacy, planning, and smart investment. "Name, image and likeness throughout college, just taught us so much about how to invest our money. We got with the right team, a great attorney. My dad always would tell us, it's not a four-year plan, it's a 40-year plan," she said. "We wanted to create a brand and a successful business, and honestly, that's all due to NIL and the connections and relationships that we built."The twins' father, Tom Cavinder, told ESPNin 2022 that they'd already made moves with Goldman Sachs to invest their NIL earnings.

The twins have appreciated the entrepreneurial opportunities they've had so far. As Haley told Forbes, "I definitely fell in love with the business side of things, being able to connect and build relationships and being able to market ourselves and understand when we do work with certain brands, the creativity is something that I truly love to do." What's more, as the sisters told Business of College Sports, they admire each other's respective strengths in the entrepreneurial space.


The Cavinder twins started their own podcast

Their basketball careers and social media presence led Hanna and Haley Cavinder to expand their personal brand through different avenues. In 2022, the twins created their own podcast called "Twin Talk" in partnership with iHeartRadio,where they discussed sports, business, pop culture, and dating with each other and their guests. The podcast allowed fans to get a deeper look into the Cavinder twins' lives and experiences through this longer form of content, much like "New Heights," the podcast hosted by the NFL powerhousebrother duo of Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce.


The first release of the show allowed Hanna and Haley to get comfortable with the podcast format of content creation. However, since they were still in the thick of their school and basketball commitments at the time, this initial version ran from December 2022 to February 2023 with only seven episodes.

"Twin Talk" was revived in 2023 when Hanna and Haley partnered with Betr, a media and gaming company founded by Joey Levy and Jake Paul. Of the partnership, Haley told Fortune, "Growing up, all my sisters, all my family would play sports. Betr touches [sports] on the entertainment side, and the partnership, in general, goes hand in hand with who Hanna and I are."Jake Paul also joined the twins in the first episode of the new version of the podcast, discussing being in business with siblings and their sports careers.


The Cavinder twins left collegiate basketball to pursue other career paths

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Because they started their collegiate basketball career with a freshman season cut short by COVID-19, Hanna and Haley Cavinder and other student-athletes affected by the pandemic were granted a fifth year of college athletic eligibility. After an incredibly successful senior season at the University of Miami, during which they made it to the Elite Eight of the March Madness tournament, the Cavinder twins ultimately decided to depart from basketball to focus on other opportunities to grow in the spheres of business and entertainment.


Hanna and Haley's views on whether or not they would return for their fifth year of eligibility varied in the weeks leading up to March Madness. Whereas Haley stood on the fence about whether she would spend her fifth year on the court, Hanna was more resolved to look toward life outside of basketball.

In a 2023 interview with the AP,Hanna reflected on her need for change. "I love basketball ... I ride or die basketball. I've given basketball so much of my life. And sometimes I'm like, 'I just want to breathe.' I really just want to breathe," she said. "I want to live. I don't want to be on a plan. I don't want to be on a schedule."

Haley Cavinder decided to return to collegiate basketball

Both Hanna and Haley Cavinder took the 2023-2024 season to dive more deeply into life outside of college athletics. Though they did partner with Betr Media to revive their podcast, continued creating content for their social media, and gave a great deal of thought to the business side of the sports stars' post-basketball lives would look, Haley felt unsettled with their joint decision. "There was nothing filling the love for the game, and I just truly was like, I know I'm going to regret it down the road if I don't go back," Haley explained toForbes in a 2023 interview. After taking a year to rest and reflect on the decision, Haley decided to fulfill her last year of eligibility with Texas Christian University for the 2024-2025 season.


Hanna remained content with her decision to keep off of the court and supported Haley's decision to continue playing basketball. Her attitude toward the development remained positive, and she saw the change as an opportunity to expand their reach in terms of business opportunities. Hanna told Forbes, "I think honestly it provides a different unique storyline. You can have somebody in the NIL space, and an athlete that's not in the NIL space, but we obviously are always going to work together."

The Gorgeous Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - The List (2024)
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