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Viral College Basketball Stars Announce Retirement, Look Toward WWE Careers

Two twin sisters from the University of Miami are looking to take their talents away from South Beach!

By Chris Phelan
Haley and Hanna Cavinder on a baskeball court

t's not every day that college athletes announce an early retirement – it's even rarer for two twin sisters to forgo their final year of NCAA basketball eligibility to pursue their dreams of performing in WWE!

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On Thursday, University of Miami basketball standouts Haley and Hanna Cavinder made their intentions clear during an appearance on the TODAY Show. They will be officially hanging up their basketball sneakers.

Instead, they'll soon be in the market for wrestling boots.

The Cavinder Twins Announce WWE Aspirations

"I think after playing all four years together, we just decided there are more opportunities besides basketball," Haley said.

"We love the WWE, their fanbase, the sport, the fitness side of it," Haley explained before adding that WWE aligns very well with their identities. "They're a great partner, and we're excited about the future with them."

RELATED: Logan Paul Renews WWE Contract – Will It Rub the Locker Room the Wrong Way?

This development is a huge "get" for WWE – especially so soon after WrestleMania. After all, not only are Haley and Hanna world-class athletes on their own, their immense social media following can pay dividends for the organization if even a tiny percentage of their fans start watching WWE programming because of their involvement. 

What Is NIL and Why Is It Important?

Image of Haley and Hanna Cavinder

Of course, this is only possible with recent rulings over NIL for college athletes. NIL (it stands for Name, Image, and Likeness) rules now state that current college athletes can accept endorsements and partnerships and explore other monetary avenues as they wish while still attending school. This is a far cry from just a few years ago when the NCAA forbade athletes from making money – even though the NCAA itself was undoubtedly cashing in on the athlete's NIL. Thanks to these changes surrounding NIL, college athletes can build their personal brands at an earlier age, which will translate to more eyes on them when they make the next steps in their post-college careers – specifically WWE, in Haley and Hanna's case. 

Both women intend to "show the younger generation that if you prioritize NIL in college, you can set yourself up for success beyond basketball or beyond your sport," Hanna told TODAY. "Being a female athlete, there's very little chance to go pro and be successful for women's basketball."

The Cavinder Twins Are No Strangers To TikTok

If you're reading this, you probably are already aware of the Cavinder twins' impact across social media – the women boast 4.5 million TikTok followers. By comparison, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, has "only" 760,000 followers on TikTok (sorry, Tribal Chief, it looks like you've got some catching up to do). 

A partnership between Haley, Hanna, and WWE is a no-brainer – both are social media powerhouses. Any interaction between the two brands will undoubtedly bring more eyeballs to the women and WWE. 

The Cavinder sisters' pivot into the world of sports entertainment couldn't come at a more opportune time since the sudden departure of Nikki and Brie Bella from WWE earlier this year has left a twin-sized hole in the women's division. Haley and Hanna have all the tools necessary to compete at a high level in WWE, and their young age means they have plenty of time to learn tricks of the trade they don't pick up on early in their training. 

If Logan Paul has shown the WWE Universe anything, it's that the next great generational WWE Superstar can come from anywhere – NXT, the independent wrestling scene, YouTube, or even NCAA basketball. 

With each passing year, more and more standout college athletes will jump to WWE. While it remains to be seen if the Cavinder twins will ultimately regret forgoing their final year of NCAA eligibility, any fan who follows them on social media or has seen them light up a basketball court knows that these two women made the right decision.

Catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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