Kayla Simmons was once a star on the volleyball court for the Marshall Thundering Herd.
Nowadays, however, the Florida native is a star off the court.
Simmons successfully transition from star athlete to model and even featured in a previous edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
“I didn’t really aspire to be a swimsuit model,” she told The New York Post in 2019. “I did some modeling when I was younger, and I loved going to the beach and taking pictures.”
“(But) I love Sports Illustrated and being an athlete, and also doing what I do now, I thought it was a great opportunity for me,” the then 23-year-old said. “I love their brand and how they empower all body types and all women.”
She says that she used her experience as a Division I college athlete to prepare for life in the modeling world.
“College athletics was a great experience for me, but it also taught me some valuable lessons. I was told by my school administrators that the pictures I post are inappropriate because of my body, I was even asked to delete my Instagram at one point. I was torn because I felt I couldn’t embrace my body and play the sport I love. I’ve since learned that you can’t let other people affect how you feel about yourself,” Simmons said.
She’s since become an absolute superstar in the modeling world.
Simmons has just shy of 1 million followers on her Instagram page. And it’s not hard to see why.
Simmons went viral on Tuesday thanks to a post showing her sipping a drink it a pink bikini. It quickly gained over 20,000 likes and nearly 500 comments.
Her athletic career may well be in the rear view mirror. But she’s clearly got the whole modeling thing down pat.