Jayda Bovero has mastered the ability to use the ever-changing digital landscape to elevate her personal brand and career.
During her high school career, Jayda helped her team win 23 consecutive games, resulting in a state championship. She also played for USA Basketball when she was 16 years old.
Formerly a guard for the New Mexico Lobos Women's basketball team, Jayda now works as a social media strategist and digital creator. Additionally, she showcases her versatility as an actress and model.
Jayda has collaborated with successful brands such as Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Jordan Brand, Nike, Mitchell and Ness, and more.
She actively contributes to the growth of the game and the culture surrounding it, serving as a positive role model for women in the sports industry.
Jayda Bovero continues to prove that "Just because you're cute, that doesn't mean you can't get buckets."
Disclaimer: This is a modified Transcript.
Interview by Olivia Cleary.
As a former collegiate athlete and someone who still works in the basketball world, basketball plays a huge role in your life. When did your journey with basketball begin?
I am a basketball baby. Both my mom and my dad played basketball in college at the same school, so I started playing basketball when I was about five years old. I was taller than everybody. I was bigger than everybody. So naturally, they put me in the post. I didn't start playing as a guard until one of my trainers was like, "Hey, if you want to play basketball, you have the ability, but you're never going to be a post player. You're going to be a guard. So we got to work on that." That's when I started to kind of develop my guard skills and kind of take my game outside to the wing.
I also grew up in Utah on a small farm and a small town, so I rode horses and I played basketball for my upbringing. Those were both my passions. I always loved basketball. I was good at it. I had a lot of friends that did it. So it was just kind of something that made sense for me. I never really had like a moment per se where I was like, oh, I want to play college basketball. It was more like, I'd always wanted to do that.
I went to school and played at the University of New Mexico, and it was great, especially from a basketball perspective. It was awesome. At the time, we were top 10 in the country for attendance every year. So our games were fun. There's not a lot to do in New Mexico either, so we got a lot of love from the fans, the city, and the locals.
We were also really good. We went to the conference championship in two out of my four years there. We were always able to compete. I loved my teammates; they are some of my closest friends to this day. I had a lot of great relationships while I was there. It was a good experience from both an academic and athletic standpoint.
When transitioning into your career, did you have to be intentional with making basketball a key aspect or did the sport kind of naturally carry itself into your professional life?
It was very natural for me. When I was done playing basketball in New Mexico, I thought, "Okay, what am I going to do with my life? Where do I want to live?" I knew that I didn't want to live in New Mexico, and I knew I didn't want to go back to Utah. So I was driving on the freeway one day and realized I wanted to move to LA.
I am very much like a fly by the seat of my pants type of individual, and so when I got here naturally, I started playing in some basketball leagues, just because that was the only community that I knew, and that kind of started opening up doors for me. I got asked to be in Nick Cannon’s film "She Got Game" and "She Balls." Then I got signed as a model and as a commercial actress just on my basketball skills and abilities. Then everything else just kind of fell into place.
I am a social media strategist and a content creator. I run the House of Hoops page from top to bottom. So I'm in charge of analytics and data as well as producing shoots and content as well as creating my own content on the page as well. On top of what I do with House of Hoops, I also have a lot of my own projects, which I really enjoy and am thankful to have those opportunities.
I would not be here without basketball. It was very unintentional, but it's worked out great. I love the game. I love being a spectator. I love watching it. I love being around it in a gym atmosphere. So honestly, it all just kind of worked out beautifully.
Having a career in social media is a concept that’s new to a lot of people. What goes on behind the scenes in having such an established career in social media?
I don't love to admit this, but I'm on social media a lot. I'm constantly scrolling, but I look at it from a very different perspective than most people. I don't look at social media as a leisure activity but more so from an analytical lens. I'm constantly asking what are the trends? What's happening? What are people doing? How are people showcasing sneakers or what's happening in the basketball world? And how can I make content off of different events and situations going on in the basketball world.
I try to stay really in tune with what's going on in the world and more specifically the basketball community, and that allows my creative process to be a little bit easier.
Everything that goes on the House of Hoops Website comes to my door so I have a ton of product that I get to choose from that I get to create with, and then I will just kind of let my creative juices flow, and whatever I come up with, I have a team behind me, I have a production team. I have everything that I need to bring anything to life. So it's great.
Your career and social media in general are such a crucial part of basketball culture, and due to your career in the social media and basketball space, you see this type of culture through a different lens. Can you speak to how you've seen basketball culture kind of grow and evolve in your profession?
Basketball is definitely one of a kind; the culture is very different, I would say more than any other sport. Because basketball is an individual sport and a team sport wrapped in one. If you can't rotate on defense, your team is going to suffer. I also think that there's a lot of undercover creatives in this space. I think a lot of people basketball really is an art if you know what you're looking at and if you understand the game from a fundamental perspective, and so I think that it brings a lot of creative people together. I think that the culture is so rich and there's a lot of history there. And there's also a lot of passion, you know, as a player, as a former player, I know that things that have kept me going and things that were intrigued me about the basketball community were other players that I looked up to and other people and other teams that I wanted to mimic and kind of be a part of. And so I really just think that basketball as a whole everyone is a family, you know. I think it's honestly it's just very unique. It's just kind of one of those things, if you know, you know.
As for women's basketball, how have you seen that grow and evolve lately?
The expansion that the WNBA is having is great. We need more teams, and so it's a great thing that the basketball community is taking initiative to get more teams. The WNBA roster is the hardest roster in all of sports to get on. There's only 144 roster spots. That leaves a lot of girls who are extremely talented and deserve to play in this league not playing in the league because there's just simply not enough room. So I love to see the expansion. I love to hear the chatter about more teams coming, and I hope that those are things that we can see through to the end.
As a woman and to add another layer, a black woman in sports, how do you hope to inspire others through your work? What advice do you have for people who look up to your career?
One piece of advice i have is just to surround yourself with good people. For me, it's about finding people with the same core values – integrity, honesty, and shared ambitions. Surrounding myself with those who have similar motivations helps create a supportive environment. When you meet people doing their own thing, it becomes easy for them to celebrate others, and vice versa. I tend to connect well with fellow Hoopers and those within the basketball community or similar structures. While you never really know how relationships will unfold, having pure intentions and aligning your character with who you want to be is key. You just hope the other person reciprocates the same energy.
Through my career and platform I want people to know that they can do it, cliché as it may sound. It's easy to get caught up in our minds, societal expectations, especially as women, and even more so as black women or women of color. But if something's on your spirit, there's a reason for it. I've found that 10 out of 10 times, when you follow that gut instinct and just go for it, things work out. You're in alignment with your calling, and that's what we all want at the end of the day – to be in sync with our purpose. So, just do it. I'd love to see more women, especially women of color, in these spaces. We bring a unique perspective and creativity that people may not realize comes from us. Bringing what we have to the table and showcasing it is important.