ATLANTA, GA (February 1, 2022) – Veteran guard Tiffany Hayes has re-signed with the Atlanta Dream, the organization announced on Tuesday. Hayes is joined by forward Nia Coffey as the Dream’s first acquisitions of 2022 WNBA Free Agency after the team traded for center Kia Vaughn on Monday (January 31).
“From the first day Tanisha, Darius and I got together, there were two things that we prioritized for this upcoming season: bring in talented professionals who are going to compete for us every single day, and surround this franchise with high-character individuals. We feel very confident that we have done that with our transactions thus far,” said general manager Dan Padover. “We have a strategy in place to build this franchise back into a perennial contender and we believe we are starting to take the initial steps necessary.”
Hayes, a consistent presence in Atlanta since being drafted 14th overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft, will suit up for her 10th season with the Dream in 2022. She is coming off a career season in 2021 where she finished as the only player in the league to average at least 14 points per game (14.7), 1.5 steals per game (1.6) and 3 assists per game (3.0), all career high numbers.
“Tiffany is such a huge part of the Dream’s history and will be a vital part in how we set the mark this season for the franchise to move forward,” Padover said. “She is one of the best two-way guards in the WNBA and plays with a competitive fire that has always represented the city of Atlanta. We are thrilled to have her back in a Dream uniform.”
Welcome back Tip! 😤#DoItForTheDream pic.twitter.com/yrqD6PUadH
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) February 1, 2022
Hayes shot a career-best 40.5 percent from the three-point line in her ninth season in the league in 2021, putting up league-pacing numbers on both sides of the court before an injury sidelined her for nine consecutive games in the middle of the season. She holds the current franchise record with 307 made three-point field goals and is one of only two Dream players in history to reach 3,000 points (3,650) and 500 assists (646).
Coffey comes to the Dream after a career season in Los Angeles in 2021, where she recorded personal-best numbers across the board with an average of 8.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.8 steals per game. She shot a career-high 42.1 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.8 percent from the free throw line 32 games with 17 starts for the Sparks. Coffey played for the Dream in 2019 where she averaged 5.0 points and then-career-highs 2.8 rebounds. 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks per game.
“Nia had her best season to date last year, and we’re really excited to watch her continued growth,” Padover said. “From our very first conversation with Nia her energy and enthusiasm for what we’re trying to build here shined through, and we know she will add a lot to the culture we’re trying to build here in Atlanta.”
The Dream also acquired veteran center Kia Vaughn in a trade with Phoenix for a 2023 third round Draft pick on January 31. Vaughn brings 12 years of WNBA experience to the Dream and has averaged 6.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game in 357 career regular season games.
“Kia is a professional basketball player who will provide immediate stability for us in the post,” Padover said. “She is a consummate teammate and an established veteran who is widely respected across this league.”
The organization added forward Megan Walker earlier in January after picking her up on a waiver claim from Phoenix. In the Mercury’s 2021 WNBA Finals run, she averaged 4.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in the regular season, and 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in five postseason games.
“I’m really excited about how our roster is shaping up,” said head coach Tanisha Wright. “Our priorities heading into Free Agency this year were to sign back Tiffany Hayes and bring in professional basketball players who will bring more to our team than just on-court performance. We have a unique chance here to build a winning culture and turn Atlanta into a place that athletes want to play, and the players we’ve added so far are going to be a huge part of that as we move into the future.”
The Atlanta Dream will tip off their milestone 15th season in the WNBA in May 2022. The team currently plays home games at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park and has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in nine of its first 14 seasons. To learn more about the Dream and purchase 2022 season tickets, please visit www.dreamelitemembership.com, call 877-977-7729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.