The two Chicago players on the University of Dayton men's basketball team combined to claim four IHSA state championships — three for Pollard at Simeon Career Academy and a single crown for Davis at Morgan Park High School.
The Flyers freshmen, both of Auburn Gresham, have remained successful at the Division I level as they've helped Dayton reach Thursday's NCAA tournament South Regional semifinal against Stanford in Memphis, Tenn.
"The state championship just got me ready to get to college and compete against people on a high level," said Davis, a 6-foot point guard on the 11th-seeded Flyers (25-10), who advanced to their first regional semis since 1984.
Dayton, one of the last at-large teams to make the field of 68, shocked sixth-seeded Ohio State and third-seeded Syracuse to qualify for the Sweet 16. The Flyers were big underdogs in both games, and they'll play that role again against 10th-seeded Stanford (23-12), a 2-1/2-point favorite.
"No one gave us a chance in the first two games, and I don't expect them to in this game either," said Pollard, a 6-foot-6 Flyers forward who averages 8.3 minutes and 2 points per game.
Davis has averaged 6.8 minutes and 1.9 points per game. He committed to the university in August 2012, and Polllard made the same decision a few months later. The two players live across from each other in the same dormitory.
"It's always good to have someone to relate to, someone who knows your lingo," Pollard said.
"It's a good feeling to share this moment and make history with someone I've known since high school," Davis said.
Davis' 10 points keyed Morgan Park to the 2013 Class 3A state trophy a year after he had transferred from Hyde Park Academy. Pollard was a crucial member of Simeon's 2011, 2012 and 2013 4A state victors, tallying 10 points and nine rebounds in his final high school game.
During Dayton's NCAA run, Pollard said he's been receiving texts and emails from his former Wolverines teammates, including Duke's Jabari Parker. Pollard said Parker gave him tips on how to beat Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone defense.
Pollard's squad already has two more tourney triumphs than Parker's Blue Devils, which were upset by Mercer in their first game.
But Pollard and Davis have bigger March Madness dreams. Although he stressed the standard "one-game-at-a-time" mantra, Davis said it's hard not to think about the Final Four in Dallas. Pollard admits that although he's slept fairly well since beating Syracuse on Saturday, he can't wait to wake up to head to practice.
And both players said they're proud to represent Chicago for a pair of reasons.
"Academically, we're on top of our grades and making sure we're doing well in school," Davis said. "And in sports, not too many people from Chicago can say they've made it to the Sweet 16. Hopefully we could be some of the lucky ones who made it to the championship, and hopefully we can say we won, too."