Homecoming bittersweet for ex-UGA star Hayes

Saying that "it always means a lot to come home" to play in Atlanta, former UGA and local high school star Jarvis Hayes suited up for the New Jersey Nets Wednesday in their 119-89 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

Hayes, a graduate of Atlanta's Douglass High now playing in his seventh NBA season, had 13 ticket requests to fill for the game, which he said was low for a game at Philips Arena. It was only the third game of the season for Hayes, who missed 32 straight games with a tear in his left hamstring.

Hayes said he has had to dig deep to find the mental strength to stay positive this season as the Nets own the NBA's worst record at 3-32.

"Tough is an understatement," Hayes said. "Words can't describe it. It's definitely the toughest situation I've ever been a part of."