‘Robo’ shined at Evergreen and at Washington State University and now is playing professionally overseas
He travels the world, but he makes sure to come home when he can.
Robert Franks Jr. was back in Vancouver last week, hosting a special event at his former high school.
A professional basketball player who previously made it to the NBA and is playing overseas now, “Robo” has always loved telling people where he was raised.
On Friday, he was feeling right at home at Evergreen High School at the Robert Franks Jr. Juneteenth Tournament.
Franks, his family, and friends held a basketball tournament, complete with cash prizes. There was music, food, and Black-owned businesses showcasing their products. Admission was inexpensive and the proceeds, beyond the prizes for the basketball tournament, will be going to the school’s Black Student Union in honor of Juneteenth.
“It feels amazing to see so many people who have come out. It means a lot,” Franks said. “This is something that I really wanted to do.”
In fact, Franks made note of that to Clark County Today when he signed his first professional contract after leaving Washington State University in 2019. When he made it to the NBA in the spring of 2021, he said the same thing: That he promised to come back to Clark County to share in his joy.
“I wanted to give something back to the community and show that Vancouver made me and I’m proud to be from Vancouver,” Franks said.
The tournament was held at Evergreen High School after the final day of the school year. Franks said he wanted to do it that way to get the word out for students to stay on campus, if they liked, to take part in an event with a positive atmosphere and for a good cause. He hopes to make this an annual event.
“It’s perfect to have the kids around and have a good day to enjoy ourselves,” he said.
It wasn’t just high school students. There were younger children, along with their parents, in attendance. Franks took pictures, too.
His basketball journey is ongoing. He played seven games with the Orlando Magic in the NBA in 2021, reaching double figures in scoring in two of those games.
“It was a dream come true. I was a kid in the candy store,” Franks said. “It was a rush I’m trying to fulfill again.”
Since then, he played in Australia for two seasons, and after the end of the most recent Australian season, he signed with Hapoel Gilboa Galil in the Israeli Basketball Premier League.
He had never been to that part of that world, and basketball gave him another opportunity.
“I didn’t want to come home yet,” Franks said. “I wanted to keep playing and stamp my passport somewhere else.”
He said he was treated great in Israel, and he also loved the hospitality he received in Australia.
Still, the 26-year-old remains focused on a return to the NBA. He and his agent are in search of his next stop in this basketball odyssey.
“I’m ready to go,” he said.
And Robert Franks Jr. will be appreciative of any opportunity.
“I’m just blessed and grateful,” Franks said. “I’ve had the opportunity to play in these beautiful countries and see different stuff. That’s all I can really say. I’m just grateful to be in the position to be where I am.”
That all started in Vancouver, and that is why he makes good on his promise to always remember his hometown.
“It just makes me feel so happy, getting support from my community,” Franks said. “It’s amazing.”
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