How Haley and Hanna Cavinder used talent and social media to shine on and off basketball court
Identical twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder put up impressive numbers for the Fresno State women's basketball team. Haley led the team in rebounds, assists, and points, with 19.8 per game, while Hanna was second on the team in all categories and averaged 14.5 a game, reports The New York Post.
The 21-year-old twins, who have 4 million TikTok followers and more than 800k Instagram followers combined, were the first ones to sign endorsement deals after the NCAA's policy change. As per Miami Herald, the idea behind NIL was for athletes to use their entrepreneurial spirit to get sponsorship deals with brands and local businesses that matched their personalities.
"When NIL did pass, it surprised a lot of people that Hanna and I and other female athletes were leading the way. I think it shows that female athletes have as much power as male athletes and NIL has been the driving force," Haley told The New York Post. According to Darren Heitner, an attorney who works with the twins, they've earned more than $1 million through deals from Boost Mobile, WWE, Champs, and Six Star Pro Nutrition.
Hanna told Miami Herald, "Going into it we didn't have any expectations, but we have learned so much over the year. We learned about making business relationships and connecting with brands you align with. Being in rooms with business people is not something you usually do as a 21-year-old. We also learned about time management and taxes, real-life stuff."
The sisters also have equity in the apparel company Baseline, which was started by Fresno State alums. During the lockdowns because of the pandemic, the Arizona twins started posting videos online showcasing their basketball skills. "If you’re twins and you can synchronize dribble, it's all amazing. It happened at the right time when people were looking to connect with others. We were doing it for fun, and seeing NIL a few months later has been crazy for sure," said Hanna.
The Cavinder duo talked about having to face trash-talkers because of their social media popularity and monetary success. "A lot of people like to let us know about it. But we'll see them on the court. People forget that before COVID happened, and before we blew up on TikTok, we were just basketball players trying to get a college scholarship together and achieve our goals. Basketball has always been the main thing," added Haley.
The twins revealed their father, Tom, played college basketball at Florida's Nova Southeastern University. Haley explained, "We are a very competitive family." While both the sisters are currently studying business, Hanna does mention their dream partnerships, which include luxury fashion house Prada and chocolate bar Twix. According to the Cavinders, they have never had a business disagreement. "It's super easy, since we are a package deal," explains Haley.
The sisters further added that they may be hard to differentiate physically, but they do have different personality traits. "Haley tends to be more of a people pleaser, and I am open and honest. Obviously, that can be a good and bad thing," said Hanna. "I'm more like, 'Let's read the room and not say everything that's on our mind.' And Hanna is more like, 'Let's say how it is.' We balance each other out," explained Haley.