Why Anastasia Hayes returned to Mississippi State women’s basketball

Why Anastasia Hayes returned to Mississippi State women’s basketball


Why Anastasia Hayes returned to Mississippi State women’s basketball

STARKVILLE — Anastasia Hayes got a call she didn’t expect – it came around 9 pm that Saturday. When she answered it, Sam Purcell was on the other end.

It was March 12 – the day Purcell was announced as Mississippi State’s women’s basketball coach.

“Where are you?” Purcell asked. “Can you come see me right now?”

“Um, OK,” Hayes responded.

Moments later, she met Purcell, his wife and their three daughters. Purcell made his pitch to Hayes to return to MSU for her final season of eligibility.

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Hayes had professional basketball interest, but she wanted to hear Purcell’s pitch. He told her what most Mississippi State recruits have heard in his three months at the helm: this isn’t a rebuild, it’s a retool toward returning to national contention.

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