Fred Davies didn't decide overnight that he wanted to play college basketball at the Division-I level. It's been on his mind for years.
The Brookstone senior, who concluded his three years at the varsity level this past winter, had a goal and knew what it would take. That goal was accomplished when he put signed with the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday at a ceremony at the school.
"I've had a passion for basketball since I was 3 or 4 years old," he said. I've always had a basketball in my hands. This is something I decided I wanted to do a long time ago. It's a lot of hard work, but it's something you realize you have to do if you want to get where you want to go."
That hard work was maybe more even than most people realize. From 6 to 7 a.m., he was in the gym practicing. Sometimes by himself, sometimes with a couple of teammates. He had an hour of weight training during the school day and then spent two hours with in the evening with a personal coach. He stayed an extra hour, from about 9 to 10 p.m., after that. And that doesn't even include the team practices during the regular season.
Never miss a local story.
"People think it just comes, but there's a lot of hard work behind it all," Davies said.
The result was 20.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2 steals per game as a senior. All total, he scored 1,002 points in only three years of varsity play.
He was selected first-team All-Region for 4-A, first-team Ledger-Enquirer All-Bi-City and concluded his high school career with the scholarship signing on Wednesday.
"He's always had the goal," Brookstone coach Bentley Sparks said. "He knew what it would take. He never took his mind off the goal. I have no doubt he'll continue to be successful."
His dad, Orson Davies, summarized the work it takes to be able to make it to the next level when he spoke at the signing.
"We have a saying in our family," he said. "You've got to want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe. Now you can breathe, son. But not for long."
Finally putting pen to paper was a relief for Davies, who, like his dad, said he could finally take a short breath.
"You finally realize all the hard work you put in wasn't in vain," he said. "There was a reason behind everything."