The holding up of these standards, however, weren’t limited to his father’s side of the family.
His maternal grandfather, William Lee Kean, was the first four-letter man at Howard University. He had a successful 35-year coaching career from the 1920s to the 1950s as the Central High School basketball coach in Kentucky, boasting a 91.1% winning percentage in that span.
Houston wrote about his grandfather in a paper written on May 10, 1993, one month before he was drafted 11th overall by the Detroit Pistons.
"He was at the forefront of the integration effort in athletics [in Kentucky]," Houston said in the paper. "In all these feats, he never failed to display anything less than the noblest of character and demanded the utmost respect…His desire for victory never pressured him, nor did he carry himself like many victory-worshiping coaches. His legislation was more than victories. He built character. No one could measure the service he gave to his boys."
Kean's lifestyle and mindset can be traced back to his father, William Thomas Kean, who was named "Father of the Year" by his church, where he served as custodian.
Some 100-plus years later, William Thomas Kean's exemplary fatherhood is present in his great-grandson.
As Knicks legend Allan Houston prepared for bed around midnight in his hotel room in Los Angeles during the Knicks' mid-December west coast road trip, his iPhone vibrated. With seven children, a leadership role with the Knicks, and the owner of a social-impact brand preparing to release a Black History Collection apparel to multiple NBA teams, it's a sound that Houston was familiar with.
However, this time, the familiar vibrating sound presented a dynamic many Black homes find themselves unfamiliar with.
"'You're the best dad I could ever ask for. Love you!'" said Asher, the youngest of Houston's seven children and his second son.
Houston's eldest son, Allan Wade Houston III, shared in his family's legacy this past year as a graduate transfer at Louisville. After playing 4 seasons and acquiring a degree from Brown University, he joined the Cardinals football team and contributed to their top-25 ranking and trip to the Holiday Bowl 36 years after his father won a state championship at Ballard High School in Louisville in 1988.
Twelve years prior, in 1976, his grandfather became the first Black assistant men's basketball coach at Louisville, a year after leading Louisville Male High School to a state championship. Houston Sr. won two NCAA national championships at Louisville as an assistant coach.
"It was great being back in Louisville and hearing about my grandfather's legacy at the place where he started his coaching career and where my dad was born and made a name for himself," Houston said. "Both were great leaders and men of faith. It's an honor to carry that legacy. I am excited to carry out and carry forward the values of faith, integrity, sacrifice, leadership, and legacy as I enter the next chapter of my life."