Victoria's Secret model Elsa Hosk used to be a professional basketball player
Before she was starring in photo shoots for Victoria's Secret, supermodel Elsa Hosk was shooting jump shots as a professional basketball player in Sweden.
The 5'9" Stockholm native began playing basketball at age seven, and according to her website, her competitive streak pushed her to excel at the sport.
"I’ve always had this drive, that if I do something, I want to do it all the way," Hosk said. "I want to make sure I’m the best at it. I made my dad put up a basket on my street, and I would just practice all day. I played in school, and eventually I got really good since I was practicing way more than my teammates. I just started advancing, going up in one class higher. Then I started training with the Stockholm team—they’re called the Zero-Eights—and eventually I started playing."
Hosk, 28, started modeling when she was a teenager, and soon balancing both modeling and with seven basketball practices a week in addition to games became too challenging. She was faced with a choice.
"I had to choose basketball or modeling because I was doing both on top of school, and it was hard coming back from jobs and having my teammates already practicing new [skills]. I couldn’t keep up," Hosk told Ocean Drive in 2013. "If I’m not the best at something, I don’t want to do it at all. I was the team captain and kept missing games, which was unacceptable, so I chose modeling. But I do miss basketball."
The Sweden's Next Top Model winner said she has used her experience with the sport to help her become just as successful at modeling as she was at basketball, and has even done a basketball-inspired shoot for Victoria's Secret activewear line.
"It just makes you a better model if you’re athletic, I think," Hosk said. "Even holding a pose for a long time, making your body into strange shapes, and just knowing what it looks like—I think [for me] that comes from being a basketball player."
Hosk will star in the Victoria's Secret Fashion show on Monday night at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.
– Erin Flynn