Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Erin Heatherton
Credit: Courtesy Sports Illustrated

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Let the countdown begin! With fewer than two weeks until the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hits newsstands, it's time to roll out the Rookies! Over the next week and a half we will be unveiling all the gorgeous ladies who can now call themselves a part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family.

We were pretty generous this year, giving you a first look at every single one of the 58 gorgeous girls we invited to Swimsuit HQ for a 2015 Casting Call. And now we're kicking things off with the one hopeful we know you were hopeful for.

Our first Rookie of 2015 is the great Erin Heatherton, and here's her first official photo as an SI Swimsuit model, shot by Yu Tsai (pictured above).

​While the Skokie, Ill. native earned that household name status from her work as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Erin, 25, told us she spent her formative years honing a different skill.

"I played basketball my whole life—AAU, high school—and I was a power forward, No. 4," says Heatherton. "My dad's whole thing was defense, getting rebounds. He wanted me to be Dennis Rodman. I'm 5'11" and not the biggest person. I was more of a run-around, scrappy rebounder [like Bulls swingman] Jimmy Butler; he's scrappy as hell."

DYK: Erin is the godmother to the adorable 2½​ year old Dixie Pearl Followill, better known as the daughter of one Lily Aldridge.

Can't wait to see more Erin? Of course you can't! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and check back tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET for our next big reveal! Plus, watch the video below.