Steve Francis Had Very Unusual Route To NBA

Published on February 23rd, 2024 6:53 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

From the streets to the NBA - Unlikely Journey - Steve Francis. Steve Francis, the former NBA point guard who played for franchises such as the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic, had one of the most unusual journeys to the NBA of anybody that has ever played in the league.

Francis and his family grew up in complete poverty, with the family living on food stamps and sleeping in crowded apartments.

Francis needed to make money to help out his money, so he started dealing drugs at the age of just 10.

Francis was a gifted basketball player, though dealing cocaine was the first priority. During his years as a teenager, Francis bounced around from high school to high school. In the end, Francis would attend six different high schools in the area.

Over the course of his time in high school, despite being an unbelievably gifted athlete, Steve Francis would play in just two high school basketball games.

Francis had different priorities.


After his mother passed away from cancer, Francis vowed never to play basketball again.

This changed when Francis received an offer to play basketball at San Jacinto College, providing that he complete his GED. Francis received his GED and played for a season at San Jacinto.

After that, Francis transferred to Allegany College of Maryland, where he enjoyed more success. Francis was most certainly garnering attention, and he managed to capture the eye of scouts at the University of Maryland, where Francis would transfer for his junior year.

Francis performed extremely well at the University of Maryland, where he made first-team All-ACC and was a consensus second-team All-American. Francis would average 17 points per game in his lone season with Maryland.

After being tabbed as a top draft pick, Francis elected to skip his senior year in college and enter the NBA draft, where he would be taken second overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1999 NBA Draft.


It's absolutely amazing that Steve Francis went from a high-school dropout that dealt crack cocaine to the NBA in roughly three years.

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