Natisha Hiedeman is backing up her comments on WNBA referees, even after receiving a fine from the league.

After the Connecticut Sun’s series loss to the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA playoffs, Hiedeman took to social media, where she called out the officiating throughout the season.

“Now that we don’t got no more checks coming in the refs have been terrible from both sides…not even in this series but the whole season,” she wrote. “Ppl gon get hurt. I hope for the finals it can just be FAIR!!”

As it turns out, there was still one more paycheck the WNBA could draw from: Her playoff bonus. Players on teams eliminated in the semifinal round are set to receive merit bonuses of $3,123 each.

On Tuesday, Hiedeman posted a screenshot of a text message thread indicating that she would be getting a fine from the WNBA for her comments on the referees. She included a tongue-in-cheek response on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, writing: “Now that I’ve had time to think about it the officials are actually doing a great job.”

In the text message thread, though, she stood by her comments, writing: “It needed to be said.”

Hiedeman isn’t the first person to receive a fine from the WNBA for comments about officiating, with a number of players and coaches having called out referees throughout the season.

Reserved free agent Natisha Hiedeman has signed her qualifying offer to return to the Connecticut Sun for the 2022 WNBA season, the team announced Monday. Hiedeman’s contract is for one year at the veteran minimum for 3-plus years of service, sources tell Just Women’s Sports.

The 5-foot-8 point guard thrived for the Sun in a backup role last season, averaging a career-high 7.6 points in 20 minutes per game. Her 39.8 three-point shooting percentage ranked among the best in the league.

In her three seasons with Connecticut, Hiedeman’s numbers and efficiency have increased in nearly every statistical category. Her production off the bench and ability to step up in key moments have proven key for the Sun, who finished the 2021 regular season first in the league with a 26-6 record before falling to the Chicago Sky 3-1 in the semifinals.

Hiedeman entered the WNBA in 2019 as the No. 18 overall pick of the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx traded her rights to the Sun on draft day in exchange for Lexie Brown. Hiedeman then bounced between the Sun and the Atlanta Dream in 2019, eventually returning to Connecticut and playing 27 games during the regular season and playoffs.

Sun assistant coach Chris Koclanes, who is entering his seventh season on Curt Miller’s staff, has been instrumental in the development of the Sun’s guards and especially Hiedeman. The 24-year-old has improved every year while working closely with Miller and Koclanes.

Hiedeman’s signing is an important first step for the Sun in free agency as they look to contend for a championship in 2022. Connecticut has DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas, Jasmine Thomas, Kaila Charles and DiJonai Carrington under contract for the 2022 season. Reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and starting point guard Briann January are unrestricted free agents. Teams may begin negotiating with free agents on Jan. 15, but contracts may not be signed until Feb. 1.

Rachel Galligan is a basketball analyst at Just Women’s Sports. A former professional basketball player and collegiate coach, she also contributes to Winsidr. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RachGall.

Jasmine Thomas and Natisha Hiedeman are engaged.

Thomas shared the news via Instagram on Wednesday, writing that she said “ABSOLUTELY!!”

“I’m so excited for forever with the love of my life!” she wrote.

This marks the second teammate couple for the Connecticut Sun alongside DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas. Thomas is set to make her return from an Achilles tear on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the Connecticut Sun continue to flourish on the court as much as they do off, currently sitting first in the league at 24-6.

Natisha Hiedeman is on a tear.

The Connecticut guard has recorded back-to-back career-high games, helping the Sun to a 3-0 record to start the season.

In the team’s 88-67 victory over the Fever on Wednesday night, Hiedeman racked up 19 points, six assists and three rebounds. With Hiedeman putting up those types of numbers alongside Jonquel Jones, who recorded a double-double against the Fever, and DeWanna Bonner, who put up 13 points Wednesday night, Connecticut looks unstoppable so far.

Hiedeman’s WNBA journey up until this point has been somewhat tumultuous. Initially drafted by the Lynx in 2019, Hiedeman was traded and waived by a couple of teams, including the Sun, before re-signing with Connecticut in July 2019.

Through three games this season, Hiedeman has more than doubled her points (15.0), rebounds (4.3) and steals (2.7) per game and has improved dramatically in nearly every other statistical category.

Hiedeman’s performance highlights the depth of the Sun’s roster even without Alyssa Thomas, who’s sidelined this season with an Achilles injury. Connecticut, No. 2 in JWS’ power rankings this week, is making an early case as one of the WNBA’s best teams behind Hiedeman, Bonner, Jones and Brionna Jones.