The Stunning Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - Nicki Swift (2024)

Entertainment Athletes

The Stunning Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - Nicki Swift (1)

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ByLara RosalesandBarbara Pavone/

It is well-known that sports get a lot of attention and their fans will always go the extra mile to support their favorite teams. Once in a while, there comes an athlete that changes the environment of the game, becomes more popular, or does something that no one has ever done before in that sport. When it comes to the Cavinder twins, two athletes changed the field for college athletes by becoming the first NCAA athletes to sign an NIL (name, image, and likeness) deal.

Most people will know Haley and Hanna Cavinder for how great they are on the basketball court. Others will recognize them from social media such as Instagram where they post together about their lives, games, fitness journey, and what life is like after basketball. One look at their posts will tell you that life for them goes beyond playing basketball, but it always comes down to experiencing life together. During an interview with GQ, Haley said, "But we're 22, and she's my best friend." She continued, "Even without basketball, being with my twin sister, that's my rock and that's what I want to do." According to Hanna the bond between them is "stronger than being basketball players or being an athlete. Right now we gotta do life together" and that's why they have gone through the ups and downs together their entire lives.

They grew up playing basketball in Arizona

Many kids grow up playing sports, but not all of them go on to become famous college athletes. According to the Cavinder twins' parents, Katie and Tom, conversation with Your Central Valley, both Haley and Hanna were always extremely competitive. For Katie, it all felt like a blur, going from game to game and watching her daughters grow up to become stars. Tom was also in awe of this: "When you build the program around those two kids, which they did, they had a great run for four years, and I think they (Haley and Hanna) didn't just grow as basketball players. I think they grew as young ladies, and that's what's more important to Katie and I."

Although for those who hear of the twins it all started in high school, Haley and Hanna remember it differently. "We got into basketball when we were around the age of 6. We loved all sports, but basketball just felt the most natural to both of us-which is crazy," they told Untold Athletes. "We stopped playing all the other sports, and focused on chasing our dreams to play college basketball together."

That is where their passion, love, and dedication for the sport began in Arizona when they were really young. It was also then that they began preparing for their first joint Division I offer when they were in eighth grade and how they helped change a program that was struggling into a state contender.

They became famous on TikTok

It is not rare for athletes to have social media accounts and post videos or photos of their day-to-day lives, their workouts, and their games. However, not all of them go on to become viral or TikTok sensations as the Cavinder twins did. Their first TikTok video was posted in August 2020 doing a trendy dance, but they never expected to become as popular as they did. Nowadays, the twins have over 4.5 million followers and continue to post on a regular basis.

Even though now their parents have accepted how famous their daughters are on social media, it all seemed a bit strange in the beginning. "We were not big fans of it. 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?" Katie Cavinder told GQ.

Even though at first it was mostly dances, their platform took a turn. "We thought, why not start dribbling basketballs to a beat and our audience or whoever saw it and loved it," Haley told The Fresno Bee. "So we continued to make those videos and it kind of grew from there." It grew into an Instagram account with over 300K followers and a YouTube channel with over 100K subscribers and their podcast "Twin Talk."

They started at Fresno State

After high school, both Haley and Hanna went on to become business majors at Fresno State where they continued with their basketball career as they started playing college basketball for the Bulldogs in November 2019. When deciding where to go for college and how to continue with their basketball careers, Hanna made it clear to The Fresno Bee that there was only one thing that mattered: "We were going to play college basketball together and that was non-negotiable, a deal-breaker, because that always was the dream and bottom line. We're better together."

Even though they are different players and their presence on the court is what differentiates them, the Cavinder twins have always been a package deal and that has transcended beyond basketball. Still, they are recognized as a package and they take pride in that. "Playing college basketball with your twin sister is everything. It is hard to explain the bond we have both on and off the court. It's why we love the game so much. Of course when there's good there's bad that comes with it too. That is comparison. The feeling of being compared to one another is heavy. It's a day by day process of learning to not let it affect us," they shared with Untold Athletes.

They transferred to Miami for their senior year

Even though the Cavinder twins seemed to be doing great at Fresno State and enjoying their time with the Bulldogs, in March 2022 the twins used Haley's Twitter to announce they were entering the transfer portal to continue their basketball career at another college. "Red wave, Hanna and I want to thank you for all the love you have shown us these last three years at Fresno State. We have grown so much as people and players at Fresno, making this not an easy decision." A month later, in April 2022, through Haley's Twitter once more, the twins announced they were transferring to Miami with a photo in their new uniforms.

After the decision was announced, many began to wonder if Haley and Hanna were transferring to Miami due to their recent NIL deal. However, Hanna told Front Office Sports the deal had no impact on their decision, but that Miami was the best team for both of them to have an opportunity to make it to March Madness. As for the team in Miami, they were just as excited to have the twins on board. Coach Katie Meier told ESPN, "Coming into the offseason losing four impactful players, we felt like we had specific needs and Haley and Hanna absolutely helped us meet several of them. They are huge pieces for our program."

They reached March Madness Sweet 16

When Haley and Hanna Cavinder decided to transfer to University of Miami from Fresno State, they had one goal in mind: reaching March Madness. They had reached several milestones throughout their college basketball career, but there was something missing and they believed it could only be reached with this new team. They weren't wrong.

In March 2023, the Cavinder twins played the Sweet 16, making one of their biggest dreams a reality. Haley told ESPN, "It's something we dreamt about for such a long time. I know that sounds kind of corny, but every basketball player wants to play at the highest level, the highest stage." Hanna also mentioned they grew up watching March Madness so being able to play the Sweet 16 was a full circle moment that made all of their sacrifices worth it.

Throughout their entire career, the twins have caught people's attention and many have made different comments about them, whether they use their fame for business or not, and how they handle their careers. After March Madness, their lawyer, Darren Heitner, told On3, "They're up there right at the very top in terms of marketability, next to pre-professional or professional. Having dealt with professional athletes for almost 15 years and reviewing deal flow, it's incredible what they've been able to do."

They became First NCAA athletes to sign an NIL Deal

The Stunning Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - Nicki Swift (7)

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

In 2021, the NCAA created a policy on name, image, and likeness (NIL) that would allow college athletes to make money off their personal brand. According to NCSA, the NIL laws change depending on the state and their own regulations, and they have to also respect the rules or guidelines put in place by the universities. This is something the Cavinder twins had to familiarize themselves with as they became the first NCAA athletes to sign a NIL deal.

The Cavinder's father, Tom, told ESPN his daughters were ready to go with NIL the moment it was approved, signing deals with brands at midnight after July 1, 2021. However, he makes it very clear that every penny they earn from NIL has been invested by the twins with Goldman Sachs. As for their twins' perspective on the NIL deal, Haley told CBS, "It's a controversial topic to begin with. It's new. A lot of people don't understand it ... Hanna and I are trailblazers of it and that's what comes with it."

According to The Free Press, the twins made $2 million during the first months of 2023 from the endorsem*nts and brands they were able to work with. Some criticized their deals, saying the twins were getting so much attention for being pretty and blonde to which Hanna replied: "Obviously, we don't deal with the same things that other women deal with or other people deal with, and that's just how our world is, and it's awful."

They have successful careers as influencers

What started on TikTok in 2020 quickly translated into fame and success, turning the Cavinder twins not only into famous college athletes but into influencers as well. Their social media presence and their following led to the twins signing great deals and partnerships as part of their NIL deal. In April 2023, they partnered with Betr platform in order to create sports content that focused on women. They also signed for regular appearances on "BS w/ Jake Paul." Betr's CEO told Forbes, "We are thrilled to partner with the Cavinder Twins, who have already accomplished so much and are just scratching the surface of their potential."

Even though outsiders may believe being influencers is the path for the twins as they seem to have a lot of success, in March 2023 they told the "BFFs: Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards & Bri Chickenfry" podcast that they didn't know if they wanted to be influencers. "I feel like influencing, once you get in it is such hard work and being able to stay consistent with social media [...] and all that comes with it props to everyone because it's very hard. It's not no nine to five."

They left Miami and basketball

In April 2023, PointsBet: A Fanatics Experience tweeted announcing the Cavinder twins would not be returning to play basketball for a fifth year. During the first episode of their "Twin Talk" podcast reboot after the partnership with Betr, in August 2023 the twins discussed why they wouldn't be going back for a fifth year playing basketball and how they were entering the business world becoming female entrepreneurs.

Both Haley and Hanna gave their own explanations, telling fans precisely why they had decided to leave basketball behind and move on to new chapters in their lives. Haley joked saying Hanna made her quit basketball because she wasn't coming back, but then said, "As a college athlete you miss so much of your family, of your life. Four years of college basketball that was what we went into [...] then we've always dreamed of starting our businesses, starting a company, and taking this route."

Long before the two of them announced their decision, there were already rumors that Hanna wasn't coming back for a fifth season and some believe that was where the twins' career would split up. However, the official announcement came and both of them had made the same decision. On the podcast, Hanna explained her decision was based on the burnout. "I'm not gonna do something that I'm not gonna give 100% of my all to and if I chose to go back, I wouldn't be fully satisfied with who I am."

They traded sports for entrepreneurship

Haley and Hanna Cavinder know how to make money! In addition to running a successful side hustle as influencers, the twins have also been cashing in big on the NCAA's name, image, and likeness (NIL) policy. Remember: They were actually the first NCAA athletes to sign a NIL deal back in 2021. Years later, they're still making the most of it, inking deals with everyone from Champs Sports to Intuit TurboTax. The duo has also been working with a range of food brands, including fast food chain Raising Cane's and low-calorie GATSBY Chocolate. While the two may seem like polar opposites, Hanna told Business of College Sports in February 2024 that the "Shark Tank"-approved chocolate brand made total sense for them. "After one bite, we knew we had to partner with GATSBY Chocolate," she enthused. "This isn't just a sponsorship to us, but a chance to really partner with and promote a game-changing product."

The common denominator across all of their sponsorships and partnerships is the Cavinder twins' passion for entrepreneurship. As they told Forbes in 2023, they were both inspired by their father (a business owner), although Haley is the more devoted of the two. "I think that naturally I'm an entrepreneur," she told the mag. "I definitely fell in love with the business side of things, being able to connect and build relationships and being able to market ourselves."

Haley Cavinder couldn't stay away from basketball

Retirement didn't last long for Haley Cavinder. The twins announced their plans to leave basketball for good in April 2023, but by October, Haley was already planning a comeback. That shouldn't have come as a surprise, given that it was Hanna Cavinder who drove the decision to retire. As Haley told ESPN in April, she didn't want to leave the sport behind, but she also didn't want to play without her sister. "I started with her, so at the end of the day, I want to end basketball and start our new lives together, but it was definitely difficult for me," she admitted. So much so that she quickly changed her mind.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all college basketball athletes were granted an extra year and Haley decided to use hers. Teasing the news on Instagram, she wrote, "See you next season, #year5." Indeed, her agent, Jeff Hoffman, soon confirmed she was back in the transfer portal to compete in the 2024-25 season. "It comes from a foundation of she misses basketball more than anything in the world," he told on3. As for her new team, while Miami was always on the table, Haley eventually chose TCU. She broke the news on X, formerly twitter, posing in the Horned Frogs uniform and proclaiming, "The last rodeo #committed."

Is WWE next for the Cavinder twins?

Haley and Hanna Cavinder were a hit on the court and now they've got their sights set on the ring. The wrestling ring, that is. The duo officially began training at WWE's Performance Center in Orlando, Florida in the spring of 2023 with the goal of becoming regulars in the franchise. "I think they'd be excited if that type of opportunity presented itself for them to be main features in the WWE," their agent, Jeff Hoffman, told TheStreet. "WWE fans provide such positive comments, feedback, and energy to the twins." The twins made their WWE TV debut shortly after, appearing in NXT that June. However, they didn't actually wrestle. Rather, they entered the ring to help Thea Hail celebrate her NXT Women's Battle Royale win by hoisting her onto their shoulders. The Cavinders then made another surprise appearance in July, that time showing up at WWE Smackdown where they posed with the women's tag team belt, met Triple H, and teased they were ready to follow in the footsteps of The Bella Twins.

Rumors of the Cavinder twins joining WWE soon took hold and were only fueled by Hoffman. Speaking with TheStreet in October 2023, he was adamant that even though Haley was returning to basketball, they were serious about wrestling. "We're still in deep and heavy conversations with WWE," he said. "We were [at] the training facility a few months ago; we were discussing upcoming trainings."

Haley Cavinder's looks were shamelessly attacked

The Stunning Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - Nicki Swift (13)

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The Cavinder twins have always been pretty guarded about their personal lives, but that changed for Haley in 2023 when she started dating a fellow high-profile athlete. As she shared during a YouTube Q&A with sister Hanna in January 2024, she first met Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson in June 2023 when he slid into her DMs. They soon went on a date and have been together ever since. "It's been really, really good," she enthused. So good that they went Instagram official just a few months later in October. However, there has also been a downside to their union: constant scrutiny by social media trolls.

As Haley recalled, their relationship was first leaked by Barstool Sports on Twitter and soon, people were analyzing – and criticizing – her non-stop. As someone who's always struggled to push social media hate aside, the negativity really got to her. "I just started looking at the comments about my face," she remembered, admitting it chipped away at her confidence. "Obviously Jake is a great guy, but you don't want to be called ugly on the internet 24/7 and your boyfriend see it," she mused. "That's not going to make anyone feel cool, so I had a mental breakdown." Thankfully, she was quick to add she's since tuned out the haters and is now focused on enjoying her relationship with her partner.

The Stunning Transformation Of The Cavinder Twins - Nicki Swift (2024)

FAQs

How did the Cavinder twins get famous? ›

They first started posting TikTok videos in August 2020 when they were “bored and stuck at home in lockdown,” according to GQ. Within a year, the Cavinder Twins had 3 million followers and had signed a contract with a sports marketing agency.

Are Haley and Hanna Cavinder identical twins? ›

Cavinder and her fraternal twin and teammate, Hanna, have a large social media following and share a TikTok account with millions of followers.

Are the Cavinder twins good? ›

Haley Cavinder has 2,065 career points and averaged 12.2 points per game in 2022-23, which led that Miami team. Her 65 makes from 3-point range was another team high, by a wide margin. Hanna Cavinder averaged 3.8 points in 2022-23 season for Miami.

How much have the Cavinder twins made? ›

Former college basketball players Haley and Hanna Cavinder have earned at least $2 million since the Supreme Court forced the NCAA to change its NIL policy — prompting critics to note that they're cashing in on their good looks rather than their abilities on the court.

Who are the twin girls athletes? ›

Haley and Hanna Cavinder are two of the biggest stars in college athletics. Both basketball players at Miami, the twin sisters also have a massive social media following. Between their talent on the court and their influence online, the Cavinders are big players in the emerging NIL market.

Who are the famous women's basketball twins? ›

Also known as the "queens of the NIL," the Cavinder twins have been one of the most popular duos in college sports given their rise to fame and being among the first athletes to capitalize in the era of name, image and likeness.

Who are the identical twins that grew up apart? ›

The identical twins Isabella Solimene and Ha Nguyen were separated at birth. Solimene was raised in America, while Nguyen grew up in Vietnam. They reunited, and their relationship is the topic of a new book, "Somewhere Sisters."

Are identical twins children half brothers? ›

Like for their twin parents, there are many fascinating family relationships for the children of twins–when identical twins have children, their children are cousins but genetically as similar as half-siblings.

What is the net worth of the Cavinder twins? ›

Their combined net worth is estimated to be around $5 million. The twins have also taken advantage of the NIL ruling, allowing student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. They were the first to sign a major NIL endorsem*nt deal, paving the way for other athletes to follow suit.

How much did Haley and Hanna Cavinder make from NIL? ›

Cavinder twins' NIL deals, net worth

They are at $1.7 million annually. Their overall NIL ranks are 32nd and 33rd in the nation, and they're first and second in the women's rankings. On3 has Haley's 10-week high valued at $851,000 at her 10-week low valued at $813,000.

Why are the Cavinder twins rich? ›

Haley Cavinder argued that they have benefited "tremendously" from social media, which has earned them nearly $2M from NIL and brand deals. "Hanna and I benefited tremendously from social media. Name, image and likeness helped us in that way.

Which Cavinder plays for tcu? ›

You can't keep the Cavinder twins apart. One day after Hanna Cavinder announced her un-retirement from basketball to rejoin Miami's women's basketball team for next season, Haley Cavinder revealed that she will join her.

Why are the Cavinder twins popular? ›

TikTok stars Hayley and Hanna went viral thanks to college basketball, scored gigs with Crocs and Victoria's Secret, and work with Jake Paul's company.

Is Cavinder not at TCU? ›

The Cavinder twins are back in college basketball, with both Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder set to play the 2024-2025 season with the Miami Hurricanes. Hanna spent some time away from the sport, taking last year off while Haley was committed to playing for the TCU Horned Frogs at some point.

How much do the Cavinder twins make on TikTok? ›

The twins have multiple endorsem*nt deals with brands like Venmo, GoPuff, and Crocs. They are also estimated to currently make around $70,000–$100,000 per TikTok post. The Cavinders left college with a combined NIL valuation of $1.7 million, ranking No.

What does the Cavinder twins dad do for a living? ›

Their dad was born in south Bend, Indiana, the home of the Fighting Irish, however Tom Cavinder playedcollege basketball for Nova Southeastern University for two seasons, and then made a move to Arizona with his wife Katie, and then founded the Southwest Elevator company in 2023.

Did the Cavinder twins get suspended? ›

The Cavinder twins, meanwhile, were not sanctioned due to the NCAA's stance that it does not intend to penalize athletes for NIL-adjacent infractions. But Miami booster John Ruiz, who was the one to violate the rules by providing an impermissible meal to the Cavinders, did not face consequences.

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