Dream’s Tiffany Hayes opts out of 2020 season

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Dream guard Tiffany Hayes opted out of the WNBA season, joining teammate Renee Montgomery, the team announced Tuesday.

“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to opt of the out of the 2020 season,” Hayes said in a statement released by the team.

“This was not an easy decision but I believe it is in my best interest with everything going on right now. 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.”

Last week, Montgomery announced she would opt out of the season to focus on social justice initiatives.

The WNBA is scheduled to start its season next month at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The season was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hayes has averaged 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 245 games over eight seasons. She is the Dream’s all-time leading 3-point shooter, with the most makes (273) and attempts (857) in team history. Her 3,342 career points rank as second most in franchise history.

Hayes was a 2018 All-WNBA first-team selection. She also was named 2012 WNBA All-Rookie Team, 2017 WNBA All-Star, 2018 All-Defensive second team, Eastern Conference Player of the Month (May 2017) and three-time Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

“Tip has been a centerpiece for the Dream in my time in Atlanta and we are certainly going to miss her on and off the court,” coach Nicki Collen said in a statement.

“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. I can’t wait to see Tip and her infectious energy and smile back on the court in 2021 and wish her nothing but health and prosperity until that time.”