Anastasia Hayes thrives with change of scenery, leads nation in points

Sports

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – She leads the nation in points, but Anastasia Hayes’ breakout season is about more than the box score.

Hayes is averaging 28.2 points per game and is top in the country in total points with 479 through 17 games.

“I’m just so blessed,” she said. “I feel so blessed and honored and all my hard work has paid off.”

That hard work also included hard decisions.

After her freshman season at the University of Tennessee where she earned the SEC’s 6th Man of the Year award, the guard transferred to Middle Tennessee. For her, it wasn’t about wearing the blue, it’s about coming home.

“I needed to be more closer to home. My first time going away as a freshman it was hard. I’m really close with my family and having my family and friends here, I feel like that was the best thing.”

The Murfreesboro native doesn’t just play in front of family, she plays with family. Her sister, Aislynn Hayes is also on the team, which makes winning that much more meaningful.

“It makes it that much special to have the support that I have here. It’s just amazing and I know they’re proud of me and making them proud is just always what I’ve wanted to do.”

In the world of the transfer portal and players switching teams at will, transferring sometimes gets a bad rap in the world of college athletics. Hayes is the poster-child for a successful change of scenery.

“Sometimes a change is all you need. I feel like everything happens for a reason and I guess the reason for me to come back home was to embrace my talents even more and that’s what I did. Change is good.”

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