Steve Francis has been described as an entertaining and fascinating basketball player to watch during his time at the University of Maryland, College Park and during his prime with the Houston Rockets and other NBA teams. The excitement and energy he brought to the game as well as his creative and impressive slamdunks still have folks remembering the good times.
I had the opportunity to speak to Steve Francis AKA “Wink” as he was on vacation on a private Island in Puerto Rico. Despite the crazy weather and the storm he made time for Industry Rules and kept it forthright during the interview to discuss his current and upcoming projects.
MHC: Who or what inspired you in your career?
SF: My dad really inspired me and was an extremely hard working man who displayed a strong work ethic. He always pushed me in basketball as well as my career to do well. Also, since the age of nine, I always knew I didn’t want to be broke and I had a hunger to want to succeed.
MHC-Tell me about your Foundation?
SF: Since 1999, the Steve Francis Foundation has been running. One of the main reasons why I started the foundation was to try to get kids off the streets. The mission of the foundation is to create educational and recreational opportunities for at-risk youth. Also, in 2004, I created the Brenda Wilson Scholarship program to commemorate my mother. Her dedication to my education really pushed me to want to help underprivileged students overcome financial hurdles to achieve their dreams. As of today, sixty-three students have each received $10,000 scholarships. The recipients of the scholarship have been nominated by organizations such as the Boys & Girl Clubs of Greater Houston, Teach for America Corps Members, KIPP Houston High School, Pro-Vision and YesPrep teachers. Each recipienthave shown a commitment to the community as well as exude leadership characteristics and academic commitment.
My foundation has also supported numerous empowerment basketball clinics, DC Warriors youth Basketball program, and provided events and fundraisers for other organizations within Houston Texas as well as Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
MHC- During the 2014 Washington DC mayoral elections you were seen around town often at different events and supporting the now elected Mayor Muriel Bowser. What made you want to get involved in politics? Also, do you see yourself in the future being involved in other political activities?
SF- Mayor Bowser vision really resonated with me. I saw that she wanted to make sure that everyone who is less fortunate had better opportunities. Her political views sparked my interest and influenced me to see how in the future I can use my resources to help improve inner city community issues. One of my interests is to get more involved in projects in different cities to help provide affordable housing. I would like to be able to help build multi-family affordable homes as well as provide affordable homes to the elderly.