‘The Franchise’ still gives back to Houston

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: December 29, 2008

HOUSTON — Former Houston Rockets point guard Steve Francis hosted his annual Holiday Party for over 200 kids last week at Dave & Buster’s located at 1-10 and Sibler.

Children from the Boys & Girls Clubs, Texas Serenity Academy and A Fresh Start Boys Group Home participated in the annual toy giveaway and bowling party.

The party, which is held on Christmas Eve, still went on as scheduled despite Francis receiving news earlier in the day that he had been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I have always done this event and other things in the Houston community,” Francis stated as he autographed photos for the kids.” “I am shocked by the news, but it’s about the kids who are less fortunate.”

“I love doing this and I will continue doing this”.

Francis was the face of the Houston Rockets organization when it came to being involved in hosting events in the Greater Houston area. It didn’t have to be a special occassion, he just did it because it was needed.

Aldine Nimitz and Baylor-bound post Brittney Griner, the No. 1 scholastic female player in the country came out to lend a hand at the event. She along with Yao Ming and many other volunteers came out to give their support.

“I think that Steve Francis has always done a great job in the Greater Houston community,” Griner said. “I enjoyed coming out and being a part of helping others.”

“This is the season for giving and giving to others is what it’s all about!”


The Rockets joined forces with Toyota and Fox Sports Houston in supporting the U.S. Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program. Fans were allowed to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Toyota Center during the holiday season.

Some of the Rockets players and their wives and members of the Basketball Operations Department went on a shopping spree with children from Casa de Esperanza at the Toys”R”Us near Reliant Stadium.

Casa de Esperanza provides a safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the affects of HIV. They also provide residential, medical and psychological care according to the needs of each child.