Before reading this article about Gonzaga Basketball Players Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong, I had no idea about any Asian American women college basketball players, much less any who were Division I players much less twins. I also didn’t know about The Sideline Post, which is a platform for college athletes to tell their own stories. Given my ignorance, it was great to hear about these twins signing a number of endorsement deals, one with Degree (the deodorant manufacturer) for their Breaking Limits campaign and another with Timo, an online bank in Vietnam.
The deal with Degree is a Name Image License (NIL) agreement, which college athletes were recently allowed to make. Degree’s campaign is focused on helping developing athletes overcoming obstacles to achieve success. Kayleigh wrote about the challenges she and her sister have faced in this article for the Sideline Post. She talks about the stereotypes they faced about Asian American athletes and how some people could not believe that they were aiming toward playing D1 ball, often assuming D2 was the best that they could do. She also talks about often seeing her sister as the only other Asian American on the court. The twins say that they didn’t take the NIL just for the money but to be more widely present as role models for Asian American female athletes.
What is impressive is that Kayleigh and Kaylynne didn’t just make their team but are signficant contributors. Kayleight was a starting point guard and was First Team All-WCC conference. Kaylynne was on the WCC all-Tournament team and was the MVP of another tournament. In 2022, Gonzaga won the WCC Tournament and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The twins were invited to play for Vietnam in the South East Asia games this past spring. They describe their experiences in this clip. I found it it interesting how much the international game is different, along with the differences playing 3×3 vs the American collegiate game.
Kayleigh and Kaylynne are rising seniors, and next year will be their last at Gonzaga. You can follow the twins on twitter at @Twinballerz. The Sideline Post was founded by another Asian American college basketball player, Kayla Padilla and has other stories written by Asian American athletes.