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Tiffany Hayes announces retirement from WNBA

The two-time national champion will continue playing basketball overseas.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Former UConn women’s basketball star Tiffany Hayes announced her retirement from the WNBA after an 11-year career in the league. She made the decision public on the Counted Me Out Podcast on Wednesday, where she also said she’ll continue playing professionally overseas.

“It’s the end,” she said on the podcast. “You can still catch me overseas. WNBA, this right here with the Connecticut Sun was my last season.”

“I’m older now. I got a lot of stuff that I’ve really always wanted to get into but I’m so busy because I play year-round,” she added. “I just figured I’d focus on one thing and then summertime, I can turn up my businesses, turn up time with my family, and just live like that. I want to see how that goes.”

Hayes, a native of Lakeland, Florida, played for the Huskies from 2008-2012, where she helped win two national championships and earned AP Third Team All-American honors in 2012. Her 154 games played are tied for third-most in program history while she’s 16th on the all-time scoring list with 1,801 career points.

Selected by the Atlanta Dream in the second round of the 2012 WNBA Draft, she went on to spend 10 years there and nearly retired with them following the 2022 campaign. But after playing just 11 games due to injury, Hayes wanted to give it one more go and was traded to the Connecticut Sun.

“I gave them 10 years and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m ready,’” she explained. “But I learned also growing up in this game, it is a business... I really wanted that to be my last season but because of injuries and stuff like that, it was hard to leave like that.”

In her WNBA career, Hayes averaged 13.6 points, 2.4 assists, and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 43.5 percent in 317 career games. She earned All-WNBA First Team and All-Defensive Second Team honors in 2018 while also finishing sixth in MVP voting. She’s also one of 10 players in league history with 4,000+ points, 1,000+ free throws made, 1,000+ rebounds, 750+ assists, and 350+ 3-pointers made, according to Across The Timeline.