The comparisons are inevitable.
in Seattle is the home of Nate Robinson, one of Washington's best multi-sport high school athletes in recent memory.
Robinson, who just completed his seventh year in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, led the Vikings to the Class 3A state basketball title in 2002. He was also a record-breaking hurdler and football star, even playing a season as a defensive back at the University of Washington.
Now the storied South Seattle school has another three-sport standout on its hands – and he embraces the easy association with Robinson.
Rising senior MarQuis Davis
– like Robinson – is an undersized guard who gets it done on the gridiron. Davis is coming off a junior year where he led Rainier Beach to its sixth basketball state title since 1988 – earning state tournament MVP honors – and rushed for over 1,000 yards for the Vikings in the fall.
He's running the 100 meters and long jumping for the Beach track and field team this spring while simultaneously playing for one of the region's premier club basketball teams.
"I talk to Nate a lot. I talked to him a couple of days ago," Davis said. "That's my role model. That's who I looked up to coming into Beach, I know he was a three-sport athlete and he did pretty much everything that I did. He gives me advice and he helps me out a lot."
Davis, who stands around 5-foot-9, is generating significant recruiting interest in basketball and football.
California, Santa Clara and Washington State are in pursuit basketball-wise, while Missouri, Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Wyoming are among his football suitors. Oregon State has been in touch about playing both sports.
Robinson eventually gave up football after his freshman year at Washington to focus on basketball. Davis is entertaining the idea of attempting both at the college level, as well.
"Right now, I'm just leaving it out there," Davis said. "I love both of the sports. I'm going to keep my options open and tackle them both if I can."
"He does an excellent job (of managing both sports)," Rainier Beach head basketball coach Mike Bethea said. "He reminds me of Nate. It's one of those things where the football coaches are chasing him around because he is sneaking around trying to participate in basketball when he is supposed to be on the football field."
Davis had his breakout moment in March during the Class 3A state championship game in Tacoma. Rainier Beach senior guard Rio Adams
, who is headed to Kansas, was limited to just seven points while struggling with foul trouble as the Vikings met Metro League rival Seattle Prep
for the third time in the 2011-12 season.
That put the onus on Davis to step up.
"It reminded me so much of Rodrick Stewart and Nate (Robinson)," said Bethea, referencing the stars of his 2002 state championship team. "They had a look in their eye like, 'This kid is not going to be denied tonight.' MarQuis had the same look. When we came out of the locker room, you could see the seriousness in his face and you knew he was going to have a special game."
Did he ever. Davis knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 30 points to give Rainier Beach a 61-58 win over Prep and Bethea his fifth state title as head coach at Beach.
"It wasn't just the fact that he was knocking down shots, it was about how he was playing defense," Bethea said. "It really set the tempo for us as a team. We follow his lead defensively."
"It was the best feeling in the world," Davis said of the post-game celebration at the Tacoma Dome, which included him being named tournament MVP.
Davis is playing this summer with Rotary Style, a powerhouse club team that has churned out stars like Brandon Roy, Peyton Siva, Rodney Stuckey Marvin Williams and Tony Wroten Jr.
Rotary Style has reached the finals in two of its four tournament appearances so far, which probably isn't good enough for the competitive, intense guard.
"Some kids hate to lose and you see that in MarQuis," Bethea said. "If MarQuis loses, he doesn't want to leave the gym. 'Coach, no don't close the door. I'm staying here until I win.' That's a special quality that you can't teach."