Admit it, when you first saw Victoria’s Secret supermodel Erin Heatherton suited up in her red headband, jersey, basketball shorts and adidas kicks for the Bill Simmons-coached West Squad at the 2014 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, you were drooling not only because she’s the most beautiful girl next door you’ve ever seen, but also because she’s one of us—a basketball lover. The statuesque blonde bombshell from Skokie, IL, was held scoreless in that game, but her stat page is still legit: 6-0, legs that won’t quit and, of course, she was a triple-threat athlete at Niles North HS, where she was a star player on the Viking basketball team. We caught up with the VS Angel formerly known as Erin Heather Bubley to talk about her love of hoops and going from high-tops to high heels.
SLAM: We saw you in the Celebrity Game and you looked pretty good out there. What position did you play in high school?
EH: Thanks. I didn’t make a basket, though. In high school I was an inside player, a 4, a power forward. I was very aggressive on the inside.
SLAM: What’s your best skill on the court?
EH: I was kind of like a Dennis Rodman-type of player. I played a lot and dove for a lot of loose balls. I was on the floor a lot. I played defense and was good at rebounding and boxing out. I can still hear my dad telling me, Box out, Erin!
SLAM: So your parents were into sports, too?
EH: I grew up in Chicago, where my parents live and breathe sports. I got scouted for modeling when I was on vacation in Miami, and when I started modeling, I had to choose between modeling for the summer in New York or staying home and going to basketball camp. If modeling didn’t work out, I would lose my starting position on the team. My dad was pissed. He was like, “What are you doing modeling? You are going to miss basketball camp.”
SLAM: Well, it looks like it all worked out for you. Do you still get a chance to shoot hoops now?
EH: I do shoot around every now and then. I usually go down to Chelsea Piers [in New York City] and play.
SLAM: How surprised are people when they learn that you’re a really strong athlete?
EH: My background is high school sports. I’ve played basketball all my life from when I was walking, and I also ran track. But basketball was always a big part of my life. I was always an athlete. And even now, models are like professional athletes. You gotta be a professional athlete to be a Victoria’s Secret model.
SLAM: You’re from Chicago so I have to ask: Are you a Chicago Bulls fan?
EH: Yeah, huge! I’m a die-hard Bulls fan. It’s always exciting when the Bulls are having a good season because it’s my team.
SLAM: I’m assuming I already know the answer to this, but who’s your all-time favorite Bulls player?
EH: Obviously Michael Jordan. I really like Kirk Hinrich. I like Derrick Rose, too.
SLAM: Millions of guys think you’re drop-dead gorgeous, but what kind of guy does America’s favorite Angel think is sexy?
EH: I don’t know…guys who love sports are sexy.
Maurice Bobb is a SLAM contributor. Follow him on Twitter @ReeseReport.