When Southern Mississippi forward Jonathan Mills visited his favorite barbershop near campus earlier this month, his only instructions for the man cutting his hair was to give him a design that would show his school spirit.
"I trusted him," Mills said. "I've seen him work before, so I wasn't worried about him messing me up."
Barely 15 minutes later, barber Chris Williams handed Mills a mirror and showed him the graphics pictured above etched into the back of his head. There's an intricate Golden Eagles logo, Mills' No. 24 jersey number and of course, the letters USM.
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The haircut has earned Mills plenty of attention since he got it. Fans and fellow students have approached him on campus or around town to snap a picture of it or simply to take a closer look.
"Everybody likes it," Mills said. "My teammates love it, the fans love it, everyone who supports us loves it."
All the fuss has come as a surprise to Mills since this isn't the first time he's gotten designs shaved onto his head. In high school, Mills had everything from stars to his initials to his jersey number etched into his haircut.
Whether it's his haircut or his play, Mills has done his part in generating enthusiasm for Southern Mississippi basketball this season. The undersized forward has averaged 9.5 points and 5.9 rebounds and scored at least 14 points in each of his team's past four games, helping lead the Golden Eagles (22-5, 9-3) to a share of first place in Conference USA.
"A lot of people are more enthusiastic for basketball this season than years past," Mills said. "Everyone wants to support a winner. Nobody wants to support a loser."
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