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The Social Media Success Of The Cavinder Twins & Problem With The NCAA

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Hanna Cavinder and Haley Cavinder, more famously known as The Cavinder Twins, have emerged as the two faces of women’s college basketball- not because they’re the top-tier players on the court, but rather for being the best-looking ones.

After completing their high school careers at Gilbert High School, the twins were part of the Freshno State Bulldogs from 2019 to 2022 before joining the Miami Hurricanes, where Hanna and Haney played as guard and point guard, respectively.

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All that being said, their stupendous fame hasn’t been a result of how they have performed on court, but rather, byt for having the best looks. During their senior season with the Hurricanes, Haley averaged barely over 12 points, five rebounds, and a little over two assists, while Hanna averaged just under four points per game. However, their numbers on social media speak something else.

The twins exist in the social media sphere as a single entity- and its from there that they have gotten their gargantuan popularity. In total, they have 6.4 million followers across multiple platforms- with 4.5 million of them on TikTok.

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Having earned over $2 million in early 2023, the hoopsters turned influencers have signed several endorsements and agreements with multiple companies- including YouTuber turned professional boxer Jake Paul’s sports-gambling outfit Betr.

While speaking to Ethan Strauss of the Free Press, Haley and Hanna discussed their upcoming deal with pre workout brand  Bucked Up, on how they should be making the announcement.

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“We could just do a TikTok,” Haley told Hanna while discussing, “like, ‘Just finished a workout with our Bucked Up.’  Or we could make it organic?” 

Louis Moore, a sports historian at Grand Valley State University, had told The Free Press that their  “very blonde, girl-next-door looks” have highly worked in favor of the twins.

“If you look at the NIL girls, the first ones who were getting deals were the blonde girls,” said Moore.

However, the twins themselves acknowledge that all women and minorities should be empowered while considering themselves to be privileged.

“Obviously, everyone brings something different to the table. I think that all women should be empowered in a male-dominant world, especially minorities,” said Haley, while Hanna added, “I mean, obviously, yes, this is a touchy subject, but I think that we are privileged, in a way. 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.”

All while the Cavinder twins keep climbing the popularity ladder, there has been a clash already with the NCAA and its sensitivity towards the matter, as the organization had already slapped a $5,000 fine- first time in the NIL era- on Katie Meier, the head coach of the Hurricanes, and also put the team on probation for a year. The accusation was that Meier facilitated an impermissible contact between Haley and Hanna, and a booster, billionaire John Ruiz, during their recruitment process past summer.

“The Miami (Florida) women’s basketball head coach violated NCAA rules when she facilitated impermissible contact between two prospects and a booster,” read the statement from the NCAA back in February.

The response from the twins came in the form of a TikTok video, where they are seen in a restroom with the caption “dear NCAA, scared that female athletes have value?” added with Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” track.

“We’re 22-year-old girls. I love fitness. I . like to showcase my body in a way that makes me feel confident,” said Hanna regarding the situation with the NCAA and their business model.

“Everybody likes to go to the beach and take a picture. I love my morning oats, and I go work out every single day. I want to portray that to my audience and show them that I’m passionate about that. Who are you to judge that?” added Haley.

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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