Tiffany Hayes, an 11-year WNBA veteran and 2017 All-Star, announced Wednesday she is retiring from the league.
“It’s the end,” Hayes said on the “Counted Me Out” podcast. “You can still catch me overseas. WNBA — this right here with the Connecticut Sun was my last season.”
Hayes, 34, was drafted No. 14 overall in 2012 by the Atlanta Dream, where she played 10 seasons before being traded this past offseason to the Sun.
“It’s a lot of things,” Hayes said on her rationale for retiring from the WNBA. “I really feel like I’m older now. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I really always wanted to get into, but I’m so busy because I’m playing year-round. … Plus my body, playing 11 seasons straight with no breaks, every year, two seasons in a year every time — that’s a lot.
“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.”
The Sun’s coach and general manager issued statements Wednesday afternoon, wishing Hayes the best and thanking her for their years together.
“It is bittersweet to hear about Tiffany’s retirement from the WNBA,” said Sun GM Darius Taylor. “It has been a pleasure to have known and watched her play since her high school days — an underrated player with a big heart on and off the court. I would like to congratulate her on a wonderful career and thank her for being a part of the Connecticut Sun organization. She will always be welcomed back to Connecticut.”
Sun coach Stephanie White said: “She’s one of the few players in the history of league that can get downhill and beat people with that quick first step. She is elite in every sense of the word. We wish Tip the best and congratulate her on an outstanding career.”
Hayes averaged 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists across 317 career WNBA games while reaching the postseason six times, including most recently with the Sun, where she helped them advance to the semifinals.
The 5-foot-10 Hayes was an all-WNBA first-team selection as well as an all-defensive second team pick in 2018, while compiling an extensive overseas playing career, featuring stints in China, Turkey and Spain.
Hayes won national championships with UConn in 2009 and 2010.