Clarence "Bevo" Francis was born on September 4, 1932, in Hammondsville, Ohio. Francis received his nickname from a type of near-beer that his father drank. Francis enrolled at the University of Rio Grande, in Rio Grande, Ohio, in 1952. He excelled on the school's basketball team, averaging 48.5 points in his freshman (1952-1953) season. This is the highest points-per-game average over a single season for any player in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Francis's average for his first and second seasons was 47.1 points per game, a record in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. In a game against Ashland Junior College in 1953, Francis scored 116 points. The NCAA refused to acknowledge this point total because Francis scored it against a junior college team. In 1954, Francis scored 113 points against Hillsdale College, setting the official NCAA record for points scored in a game by a single player. Unfortunately for Francis, the University of Rio Grande suspended him for missing classes and failing to take exams after the 1953-1954 season.
Upon being suspended, Francis signed a contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. He played with the Boston Whirlwinds, a team that played against the Harlem Globetrotters. After two years with the Whirlwinds, the Philadelphia Warriors drafted Francis, but he refused to play for this team. Francis continued to play professional basketball into the early 1960s. Upon retiring, he went to work for a steel mill in Ohio. He currently resides in Highland, Ohio.