Aug. 17, 2006
AUBURN - Auburn 6-foot-4 rising junior forward Daniel Hayles will leave Auburn University and the basketball team to tend to family responsibilities, head coach Jeff Lebo announced Thursday.
Hayles has a 2-year-old daughter and has decided the stress of being a father and playing basketball at the SEC level is not a good balance at this time. The Mobile, Ala., native averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this past year. He shot 38 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the foul line.
"I have talked with both Daniel and Daniel's mother, and we think this decision is best for Daniel and his family," Lebo said. "Daniel wants to be a good father and going to school, playing basketball at this level and raising a child from a distance has been very stressful for him. I appreciate his effort and toughness on the court, and that will be difficult to replace. I wish him and his family nothing but the best."
Hayles scored a career-high 18 points in the win vs. Mississippi State this past season, making 4-of-5 three-pointers against the Bulldogs. He had 17 points in the Tigers' win over Southern Miss. Hayles averaged 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman in 2004-05.
"I have really enjoyed my time at Auburn and the support of my teammates, my coaches and our fans," Hayles said. "This is about taking responsibilities for my child and getting closer to those responsibilities. I wish my teammates, coaches and Auburn nothing but the best in the future."
Auburn's first practice of the 2006-07 season will be Oct. 13.