What Ever Happened to?

Small-Town Hoopster's Big Score Still Lives On?

Bob Higham of Santa Rosa, Calif., asks "Whatever Happened to Bevo Francis, small-college basketball star of the early '50s"?

In 1953, a team of small-town upstarts from Rio Grande University in Rio Grande, Ohio, shook up the basketball world. Led by a 6 ft., 9 in. freshman named Clarence "Bevo" Francis, they beat team after top-division team to arrive at the pinnacle of their sport: a tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Though his name is forgotten by some, the record books remember him well. That season Francis scored 113 points in a Jan. 9, 1953, game against Ashland (Ky.) Junior College. To this day Mr. Francis holds the record for most points scored in one NCAA Division II basketball game - and experts say the record may well be an all-time high at any level.

"He was just a scoring phenom," says Wayne Patterson, a researcher at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

When a deal to play on the team that opposed the Harlem Globetrotters fell through, he left basketball for good, according to Mr. Patterson.

Francis, who now lives in Salineville, Ohio, is a retired steel and plastic mill worker. He couldn't be reached for comment.

"He's out [rac]coon hunting," explains his daughter, Marge Grimm.

His 15 minutes of fame are long over, but his glory lives on at Rio Grande, a university of 3,800 students. Every November, the university holds the annual Bevo Francis Invitational, where Francis himself makes an appearance. This year is particularly special: His granddaughter, Sarah, heir to the family talent, is playing for the Rio Grande women's team.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK