METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Ethan Kizer has been the face of Metamora basketball for the last couple of years.

Actually, you could say the senior is the face and hair of the Redbirds.

“I’ve had long hair since third grade,” Kizer admitted. “It’s pretty cool that everyone knows me. It makes me work harder. I have to show out for them.”

The 6-6 wing is more than just the player with the long hair. Kizer is a player who has developed his game to a point where he’s not just flashy with high-flying dunks.

He defends, he passes, he shoots, he brings the ball up the floor. And he’ll play in college at the University of south Alabama.

Kizer has helped turn Metamora into a state championship contender.

Danny Grieves/Metamora head coach: “He’s brought up everyone’s level of competition,” said Metamora coach Danny Grieves. “Every night, he’s like a magnet. They all go to him and he doesn’t mind giving up the basketball.”

Last year, Kizer helped lead Metamora to a class 3A state runner-up finish. The Redbirds are 24-2 and have been ranked in the top five in the state the entire season.

“I think I’m playing pretty well. My team has done a great job of finding me when I’m open, knocking down the open shot,” Kizer said.

Being a tall player with flowing hair, Kizer has always been the center of attention on the basketball floor. But with all those qualities he is the center of attention in the community.

“It’s awesome knowing I have the community behind me,” Kizer said. “Little kids look up to me. It’s awesome to have that.”

Kizer is frequently asked to pose for pictures with fans after games.

“He’s an icon, all the kids look up to him,” said Metamora junior guard Tyler Mason. “The little kids look up to him, they want to be him when they grow up. I think we have some kids growing their hair out, trying to me like him.”