About three months ago Lake Braddock's Hubert Davis fulfilled a dream when he signed a letter-of-intent to play college basketball at the University of North Carolina. Unfortunately for Northern Region teams, Davis still has plenty of high school basketball left to cause opponents nightmares.

A 6-foot-4 1/2 swingman, Davis has frustrated opposing defenses while scoring more than 1,100 points in three years to become the school's all-time leading scorer. Each year he has made a steady progression and for two years the name "Hubert Davis" is the first name anyone utters when mentioning Lake Braddock. Behind his leadership and scoring prowess, the Bruins have won 45 of 56 games that he's played since he joined the varsity.

"Not to second rate the other kids {on the team}, but he's made the others better by being able to shoulder the load," said Lake Braddock Coach Mike Wells.

Davis has often carried the Bruins with his scoring, but he is not selfish. Wells says the key to Davis' success is efficiency and versatility.

"He has done what he has done by being efficient," Wells said. "He improved each year, not by taking so many more shots, but by improving his shooting. He can go inside or outside . . . anywhere to score."

Statistics support Wells' claim. Davis made 57 percent of his field goal attempts and shot 79 percent from the free throw line as a sophomore when he averaged 16 points a game on a 16-7 team. Last year the numbers jumped to 23.1 points per game on 60.1 percent field goal shooting and 86 percent from the free throw line when the Bruins went 20-3. This season the Bruins have won 11 of their first 12 games and Davis is averaging an area-best 29.6 points per game. He is shooting 65.4 percent from the floor and 92 percent from the line. Another example of his efficiency is his steal-to-turnover ratio during his high school career. Davis has averaged 1.6 steals and just 1.3 turnovers in 56 games.

"The thing about Hubert is that he does things quietly," said Robinson Coach Bob McKeag, whose Rams have faced Davis and the Bruins six times in the past two years. "At the end of last year's overtime game (a 84-80 Lake Braddock win in seven overtimes) I thought we had shut him down and I was shocked to find out he scored 32 (actually 35). I think he had 18 in the overtime periods. That's the thing about him -- he produces when the game is on the line."

Before this season began North Carolina offered the Winston Salem, N.C. native a chance to don a Tar Heel uniform. He eagerly accepted, and now gets to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Walter, who starred at Carolina 10 years ago, and now is in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns.

"It was quite a thrill," said Davis about the early signing. "It took the pressure off before it got too hectic."

Comparisons between Walter and Hubert could soon follow, though North Carolina Coach Dean Smith prefers to avoid early publicity with recruits.

"Walter had that great straight ahead speed," Smith said. "But it's not fair to compare the two. Many times high school kids get too much hype when in fact all they are until they get to college are just prospects."

Davis started receiving letters from colleges in his freshman year at Lake Braddock, when he split time with the freshman and junior varsity teams. The interest kept piling up before Davis made plans in his senior year to visit several in-state schools along with Carolina. He visited the University of Virginia before North Carolina, but quickly canceled the other campus visits when the offer from the Tar Heels came.

Davis had attended Smith's North Carolina summer basketball camp for eight straight years, and after camp concluded last year Smith took Davis aside to let him know of their interest.

"I've known him since he was 10 years old," Smith said. "He's solid fundamentally, has a good shot and a good feel for the game. I'm not sure we'll use him at the point, but I think we'll try him at the big guard."

The signing has set his future plans for next year and beyond, but Davis and the Bruins still have some unfinished business. Despite Davis' and Lake Braddock's success over the past 2 1/2 years, a regional basketball championship has eluded them. The Bruins have posted a 36-10 mark the past two years, but each time were eliminated in the early rounds of the regional playoffs.

"The last two years we've been a victim of what happens in basketball," Wells said. "Two years ago we got beat by a better team {Herndon} and last year we were upset by Yorktown."

Despite not reaching the regional final in the last two years, Davis and the Bruins have caused the oppositiona variety of problems. Wells says there are two schools of thought on trying to stop Davis: using a special defense designed to stop him, or, applying a straight up man-to-man defense and hoping to contain the standout while shutting down the others.

Either way Davis has produced, from all over the court. According to many, that is what separates him from many other outstanding area players.

"Many players can only do it from inside," McKeag said, "so you can try to deny them the ball. But he's so multi-faceted, if you shut him down inside he can come out and hurt you on the outside too."

Davis' success came early, and with encouragement from his father, Hubert Sr., a former college basketball standout at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., he continued to improve.

While Davis' scoring average has risen each year, it is not the only improvement in his game. He has grown 2 1/2 inches in the last two years, and has bulked up from 155 pounds to 180.

"Hubert has improved physically," Wells said. "This season he has about 10 dunks, which shows his maturation and strength."

While Davis is 6-4 1/2, his leaping ability and court sense help him to many rebounds. He is currently is averaging 5.7 rebounds a game, up from five last year. His anticipation and a good vertical leap have helped him average .52 blocked shots per game over his career despite having less opportunities playing small forward. But Davis also realizes there is much improvement to be made.

"I think I have to work on my dribbling and defense," Davis said, "A lot of guys {in college} are much quicker than I am so I have to work on using my feet better laterally."

Basketball is not the only sport in which Davis has excelled. Over the past two years he caught more than 105 passes for 1,300 yards at tight end and wide receiver, earning All-Met honors in 1987.

But football never seemed to hinder his progress on the basketball court, though he often had to play catch up because of missing early-season practices.

"He only had one full practice before our first scrimmage this year," Wells recalls. "He spent three hours a day during football season and didn't play basketball until the season was over. But he went out and played {in the scrimmage} as well as anyone could. He's just that type of player."

While the end of his high school career is still at least two months away, and Davis patiently can wait for next year, many coaches can't wait for his departure. "He's a great player," McKeag says, "but we're just hoping to get him graduated this year."