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The Steve



Steven De'Shawn Francis (born February 21, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player. He was selected with the second overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft and was named co-NBA Rookie of the Year (along with Elton Brand) in his first season. He was a three-time NBA All-Star while playing for the Houston Rockets. Francis also played for the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks, finishing his career with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He was known for his crossover dribble, driving ability, and flashy dunks. He was given the nickname Stevie Franchise.

Francis was born and raised in Takoma Park, Maryland. He was nicknamed "Wink" as a child. After his mother (Brenda) died of cancer in 1995, his grandmother became a parent figure to him. He stopped playing basketball after his mother died. His father served 20 years in federal prison for bank robbery. Francis later described his stepfather, a garbage collector, as his best friend. As a youth, Francis received food stamps and lived in an apartment with 18 people.

He attended six high schools and played in a total of two high school basketball games. He dropped out of school at 18 years old after his mother died. Francis completed his GED after receiving an offer to play college basketball for San Jacinto College, whose coaches had noticed him at an Amateur Athletic Union tournament.

 Francis attended San Jacinto College in 1996–97, and the Allegany College of Maryland in 1997–98. Francis became the first player to take two unbeaten teams into the National Junior College Tournament.[4] In a game for Allegany, Francis recorded a quadruple double against Shawn Marion and Vincennes University.

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