Tiffany Hayes won’t join Atlanta Dream when WNBA season begins

4:25 PM ET


CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Atlanta guard Tiffany Hayes became the latest player to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season, the Dream announced Tuesday.

She joins fellow Atlanta guard Renee Montgomery, who like Hayes went to UConn, in choosing not to play.

Last week, the WNBA announced plans for a 22-game regular season with standard playoffs in Bradenton, Florida, starting in late July and ending in October. The Women’s National Basketball Players Association voted to accept the league’s proposal, with 77 percent of players voting yes. The players have until Thursday to inform their teams if they will not take part in this season.

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Others who have opted not to play include Washington’s Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders, and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones.

“This was not an easy decision, but I believe it is in my best interest with everything going on right now,” Hayes said. “Although I love playing this game, I believe there are much more important things to be thinking about in this moment.

“I want to thank my teammates, coaches and the Dream organization for supporting my decision. I wish them best of luck in Florida and look forward to getting back on the court in 2021 for Atlanta.”

Hayes was a second-round draft pick in 2012, and has played all eight of her seasons with Atlanta, averaging 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists. She is the Dream’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals with 273.

“We are certainly going to miss her on and off the court,” Dream coach Nicki Collen said. “We are living and working with a unique set of circumstances right now, and I support her decision to do what she feels is best for her and her family.”

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