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Former NFL CB Dominique Franks looking to play in NBL Canada

Photo Credit: Justin Prince / NBLCentral

For five seasons, cornerback Dominique Franks competed on the gridiron in the NFL.

Now, he is looking to trade his football spikes in for a pair of basketball shoes.

The 29-year-old is looking to live a lifelong dream at this year’s National Basketball League of Canada Draft Combine – earning a spot on a professional basketball team. Franks, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, made the decision in the past year to be able to do what he loved.

 “Football kind of took over my life in high school,” said Franks, wearing a red Number 50 combine jersey. “I had to stop playing basketball and start focusing on football because that was the only way I was going to be able to get a full scholarship for college.”

Franks had played high school basketball at Union High School in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla. During his four years in school, he had won a state championship his sophomore year and lost a second finals his final season in the sport.

He then played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners from 2007-09 where he became one of the top cornerbacks in the 2010 NFL Draft. Franks had 14 career tackles and three career interceptions in his five-year career with the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens.

He was eventually cut by the Ravens in 2014. He then played for the Hudson Valley Fort in the now-defunct Fall Experimental Football League.

Franks said that instead of training for football every offseason, he stayed in shape by playing basketball with some of his friends who played professionally overseas.

“I just never lost the love,” said Franks. “I definitely didn’t love football like that, so it was easy to walk away from it.”

Those friends soon recommended he try professional basketball last year. Franks then took part in three combines, including the NBLC’s Dallas event.

He feels he has been playing well so far in his fourth overall combine.

“I’m just taking the time out there to get used to the teammates and see what they can do,” said Franks. “I want to try and get them in the best situations as possible and not just go out there and shoot the ball every time I touch it. I want to try and make my team better.”

Before trying to play professional basketball, Franks did not know NBL Canada existed. He had found out about the league through internet searches. Now, he's happy to have a chance to play something he enjoys.

“I didn’t even know there was a league in Canada (beforehand),” said Franks. “I just did some research and felt like, ‘Hey, I’ll do any opportunity I can to hopefully get a chance to play professional basketball.’”

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