Steve “Franchise” Francis grew up in abject poverty.
Raised by a single-mom, he grew up living in a 3-bedroom apartment shared with 14 people.
His passion, and natural talent, for basketball was thwarted by his inability to keep up his grades in High-School.
He was declared academically ineligible for his Freshman year and was kicked off the team during his Sophomore year.
During that same time, his mother, who had been living with a hernia for 10 years, died of health complications at the age of 39.
Francis fell into a deep depression and, as a result, would never play a game of basketball for his entire High-School career.
After being in a two-year emotional funk, while still battling the daily pressures of poverty and inner city life, Francis decided to use the death of his mother as motivation. He chose to see the tragedy as a lesson on the preciousness of life and, according to the words of a close friend, decided to use “the knowledge to go forward with his dreams.”
Unfortunately for Francis, he had no High-School basketball experience and, in spite of his skill and dedication to practice, he lacked the exposure necessary to get into a national college basketball program.
After attending two different junior colleges in a two-year period, Francis transferred to the University of Maryland where he finally got his shot to perform on a big stage.
He didn’t disappoint.
The Maryland Terrapins finished second in the ACC and Francis was named to the All-ACC first team and the All ACC Tournament team. The Terrapins were a number 2 seed in the NCAA tournament but were defeated by St. John’s in the Sweet 16. Under Francis’ leadership, Maryland finished with a school record-setting 28 wins and only 6 losses and were ranked #5 in the final Associated Press poll (wikipedia).
After playing college ball for one year, Francis was selected as the #2 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.
In spite of experiencing every excuse for NOT achieving his dream, Francis found a way to get into the NBA.
You can watch his story, Beyond the glory Steve Francis, for yourself here.
Enough about Francis.
Let’s talk about you.
What are your problems? What are your legitimate excuses? What are the odds you’re working against?
Don’t ignore them. Don’t pretend as if they’re illusory.
Acknowledge them. Write them down. Take a cold hard look at them.
After you’ve done that, ask yourself the following:
Will I let this list of dream defeaters define my destiny or will I choose to regard them as opportunities to gain the knowledge to go forward with my dreams?