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DaveO

Steve Francis (1977-) Three-Time NBA All-Star for the Houston Rockets, and First-Team All-ACC at the Universithy of Maryland

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If you have followed local sports for a fairly long time the name Steve Francis rings a bell.  He grew up in this area, played 2 years of excellent JR college basketball and then one marvelous season at the University of MD, 1998-99

Following that season he was the 2nd choice in the NBA draft.  He had several excellent seasons and then slowly succumbed to injuries and personal issues.

At one point though probably stretching from that season at MD through about 5 years in the pros he was simply one of the more exciting dynamic basketball players or more narrowly guards in the NBA and the world.  His athleticism was extraordinary and his game was accomplished 

Problems in his life emerged.  He somewhat disappeared from public view.

Here is his recent revelatory story of his life from selling drugs in his youth in Takoma Park to college, the NBA, and his life afterwards. It is remarkable:

"I Got a Story To Tell" by Steve Francis on playerstribune.com

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I reread the Steve Francis "growing up" part of the story.  The life he led or had to lead is unfathomable.  To the extent that he or anyone makes it out of that environment is a miracle.  It is a worthwhile read to simply grasp what some environments are like.  Just astounding.  It just smashes into this boy who grew up in a completely different blessed suburban world.  Simply remarkable.

On the other side of the coin when Steve Francis was at his best as a basketball player he was easily among the most athletic, quickest players in the game.  By a lot.  He was Alan Iversonish with slight differences among them that Francis showed more astonishing high flying elements to his game.  Between those two poles--the environment that he grew up in and miraculously escaped and his generational athletic ability its quite a story.  Worth a read.

Speaking of Iverson and Francis.....the story has an interesting reference "connecting" these two individuals and then here is one of their matchups:

 

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