ATLANTA-The Georgia State men's basketball team received a visit today from NBA veteran Jarvis Hayes of the New Jersey Nets.
The Panthers are currently practicing in preparation for their trip to the Bahamas, Aug. 12-17, during which they will play four games against local teams in Nassau. NCAA rules permit 10 days of practice prior to such offseason trips.
Hayes is an Atlanta native and former University of Georgia standout who is entering his eighth NBA season. Jarvis has a twin brother, Jonas, who also played at Georgia and is now an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, N.C. The twins are the brothers of Georgia State assistant coach Raheem Waller.
Jarvis Hayes is also a long-time acquaintance of GSU head coach Rod Barnes, who coached against the Hayes twins during his stint at Ole Miss.
"Many college players have dreams of playing pro basketball, so I think it's important to show them the professionalism and work ethic that it takes to play at the next level," said Barnes. "It's so much more than just having a skill set, and Jarvis Hayes is a great example. He has worked extremely hard and done things the right way to get where he is today. He is a true professional."
Hayes talked to the Panthers about his offseason regimen.
"I'm in the NBA because I'm a shooter," said the 6-8, 228-pound two-guard. "That's my craft, so I have to work at it constantly. To perfect my craft, I usually shoot twice a day, and in each session, I have to make 500 shots.
"I also run about two miles every day, except on the weekends, when I will run at least five miles. And then I lift weights two times a week."
Hayes also talked about the intensity of his workouts.
"The way you practice is what shows up in games," he said. "You have to practice your shot with the same speed and intensity that you need in games."
Finally, Hayes talked about character and professionalism.
"There are a lot of talented players out there who aren't in the NBA because of their inability to do the right things," he said. "The NBA is a business, and those owners and general managers want to invest their money wisely."
"Professionalism doesn't just start when you get to the NBA," Hayes continued. "It starts now. If you have the skills to play in the NBA, those scouts and personnel are watching you now. They are watching to see how hard you work, both on the court and in the classroom, and how you carry yourself."
Hayes recalled going against Barnes' Ole Miss teams in Southeastern Conference play nearly a decade ago.
"We had some great battles," Hayes said. "I was always impressed with Coach Barnes because he exudes confidence and calmness, and that trickles down to the players."