The Gonzalez twins–Dylan and Dakota–are already internet sensations, with about 1 million followers each on Instagram, but they are just getting started. After graduating a few weeks back, the twins have announced that they will forego their last year of basketball eligibility at UNLV–and the possibility of professional play in the WNBA–to pursue music careers.
The 6-foot-tall twins spoke to SLAM Magazine on the frustrations of trying to juggle a music career and being student-athletes while having the NCAA breathing down your neck. “Initially it’s scary because you understand in the back of your head that you’re going up against something that’s bigger than you,” said Dylan. “We definitely tried to challenge the system a little bit to make both music and basketball work.”
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SPEAKING OUT: Dakota and I made the decision to forego our last year playing basketball at UNLV, and ya know what, it breaks my heart. REGARDLESS of what any of you naysayers think Dakota and I have put so much time and energy, struggle and heartache,sweat and love and tears into this game that has always been and will always be a part of our life. We worked our asses off to get to where we are. But because of the NCAA and the ancient set of rules that has yet to evolve with the rest of time, our hand has been forced to make the tough choice to go on and build a foundation to pursue our musical careers outside of basketball. If I could do both I would trust me and 9.9 out of 10 of you could never really understand the half of how bad it is and why it's IMPOSSIBLE. Still much love to my university, shout out to ET, my coaches,Tina the AD, and the rest at UNLV who tried to make it the best situation for us. Now, with God by our sides, it's onto the next chapter… #TheCrossover #AreYouOnTheTeam #II #Gonz
The NCAA hasn’t been supportive of the pair releasing music while being student athletes due to their backwards rules on amateurism, so going the entertainment route was a no brainer, especially when one considers the low earnings potential of a WNBA career.
The NCAA’s ruling was so ridiculous that it ended up derailing a possibly-triumphant final year for the Gonzalez twins, who chose their financial freedom over their athletic conquests. “At the end of the day, the only thing they would allow us to do was sing the national anthem at a game and make music in our home,” said Dylan. “It just became this fight as to why we wouldn’t do anything outside of basketball without all of these ticky-tack regulations coming into play. It just became so stressful.”
After leaving Kansas following their freshman seasons, the Midwesterns took off for the bright lights of Las Vegas. Sin City proved to bring a great deal of attention their way, and their presence on the UNLV squad gave them the opportunity to showcase their basketball talents in a big city. The move to America’s favorite tourist destination also attracted more onlookers, including one Drake Aubrey Graham, who was spotted at one of the twins’ many blowouts back in 2015.
— The Rebel Report (@RebelReportUNLV) November 15, 2015
Even though they’re currently focusing on their IIGonz music career–they just released an EP called Take 1–the UNLV graduates don’t plan on letting the NCAA stifle their hoop dreams all together. They will continue to train in hopes of playing professionally overseas one day. “There are definitely a lot of clinics and a lot of training for us coming up over the next few months. I think that a lot of the motivation for that is for potential overseas careers, because that is something that fascinates us and is more intriguing to us than the WNBA,” said Dakota.
You can read the full interview with the Gonzalez twins on SLAM, and listen to Take 1 below.