Calvin Avant Award



Each year, The Steve Francis Foundation presents The Calvin Avant Award to a staff member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston. Calvin Avant has been a mentor to Steve since a young age, always going above and beyond to inspire Steve and everyone around him to put God first and stay committed to your family and community. The award recipient shares in Calvin Avant’s commitment to serving youth in the community by encouraging them to choose positive paths and working to ensure that after-school programs and athletic opportunities are available to at-risk youth.

Calvin Avant AwardThe 2012 Calvin Avant Award was presented by BWSP recipients Joe Ivory III and Malcolm Simpson to Coach Mark Stephens. Coach Stephens was honored to receive the award for his hard work and commitment to the Johnny Mitchell Boys and Girls Club. Coach Stephens is the Athletic Director and puts in more than 60 hours a week as a salaried employee. He is highly devoted and energetic when it comes to directing youth in a positive direction. Coach Stephens goes beyond what his job calls for because he cares a great deal about the youth from the club.

The 2011 Calvin Avant Award was presented by Warnessa to her surprised mother, Carol Freeman. Carol showed outstanding commitment to community service as a volunteer in Galveston. Affectionately known as "Aunt Carol" to everyone in the area, she is a proud mother of two daughters in the Steve Francis Foundation Scholarship Program, Alex and Warnessa.

Previous Award Winners:

2011:    Carol Freeman 
               Johnny Mitchell Boys & Girls Club
2010:    John E. Robinson III
               NFL Youth Education Town at Finnigan Park Boys & Girls Club
2009:    Gayla Thompson
               Spring Branch Boys & Girls Club
2008:    Cheryl Chatman
               Johnny Mitchell Boys & Girls Club
2007:    Tiffany Berks
               NFL Youth Education Town at James Driver Park Boys & Girls Club


Steven D'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 the NBA Rookie of the Year 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 The Franchise.

 Steve; always a giver showed it when on September 27, 2001 a tornado struck the University of Maryland, College Park campus, killing two students and displacing 700 more from their dormitory. Francis, who was on campus at the time, arranged to sponsor a dinner for the displaced students before he flew back to Houston for his third season with the Rockets. He said, "I remember all of the people here supporting me while I was a Maryland student, and this is just a small way that I can give back to those who have helped me."Steve has been giving back ever since!