Q+A: Tiffany Hayes
The former Husky talks about what it was like to be drafted by the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and more.
by Kelly Kline / @FullCourtWBBall
Just six weeks ago, Tiffany Hayes was the 14th pick in the WNBA draft by the Atlanta Dream. During her college career the 5-10 guard made four Final Four appearances and won two National Championships with the University of Connecticut. During her senior year Hayes lead the Huskies in steals and was second on the team in scoring. I had a chance to catch up with the two time All-Big East Team player for a quick Q&A on how things are going as a WNBA rookie.
Kelly Kline: How exciting was it for you to be drafted by the Atlanta Dream?
Tiffany Hayes: It was really exciting. That was actually the first choice I had in mind because I knew they were a very successful team and also it was the closest to my home, which is Florida. So it was a win-win for me.
KK: How has your first month in the WNBA been?
TH: It’s all just a learning process for me—I’ve been here for a month and I’ve learned a lot from the veterans here. Just learning the team concept and what to do, so it’s been fun. I’ve learned a lot. I’m enjoying it.
KK: What adjustments have you had to make going from college to the pros?
TH: Not much really. They are just telling me to play how I play, and I think that is a good thing for everybody. I’m a role player just like I was at Connecticut. They are telling me to continue doing that, so it’s easy.
KK: Who’s been that player for Atlanta that has taken you under their wing?
TH: Everyone checks in with me to see if I’m OK and little things like that. Keita (Swanier) is always checking in on me seeing if I need anything. Everyone on the team has been really great.
KK: I heard you got a broken nose during training camp. What happened?
TH: Yeah, I broke it twice. I gotta wear the mask for two more weeks. It happened when I ran into a teammate during a drill in training camp, and then the second time it was in the game against China. I blocked somebody’s shot and the ball ricocheted off the backboard and hit me in the mask.
KK: You’ve gotten about 15 minutes of playing time in the first three games. What do you see your roll being for the Dream?
TH: Just to come in and be a spark at whatever I do and to stay consistent. Whether they need me to play the two or three, I’m going to come in and play my best on offense and defense.
KK: What are your goals this season as a rookie?
TH: My main one is to be consistent and another one is to always be a spark. Whenever I’m in the game, it’s always high energy and things like that. As long as I’m doing my part it will help the team and everything else is going to follow.
KK: I’ve seen a series of YouTube videos with you freestyle rapping with Kalana Greene. They’re pretty fun. What’s up with that?
TH: (Laughs) That’s just the type of thing I like to do with my teammates. If we ever had free time or off days we would do that all the time. We have way more videos that we didn’t put up on YouTube. That’s just me and how I have fun. There is no reason for them. I like to have fun and that’s what we do with those videos.
KK: So tell us more about Tiff Hayes… Are you a sneaker head? Do you have any tattoos? What’s your baller swag?
TH: I like Chuck Taylors. I just bought my first pair of Jordans—the Playoff XII’s. I have two tattoos, they are both big. One is on my side and it’s the Chinese symbol for family and then I have a huge one going up and down my back—It’s a floral design.
KK: What’s the latest movie you’ve seen?
TH: The latest movie I saw was Avengers and it was great. I loved it.
KK: What music are you listening to?
TH: A lot of Wiz Khalifa, a lot of Chris Brown and a lot of Tyga.
KK: Any thoughts on how UConn is going to look this coming season?
TH: They are going to look good! I am the only one that graduated and they’ve got a solid core group back and top recruits coming in to help build. They are definitely going to be back at the Final Four. I believe in them and the freshman coming in, so I have high hopes for them.
KK: What are your predictions for the Atlanta Dream this year?
TH: I definitely think we will will go far, nothing short of a conference championship. I definitely think we are good, even though we have two losses on the season, it’s stuff that can be fixed and we are working on that already. As long as we continue to improve every day we are going to be a really good team.
Content courtesy of Fullcourt.com.