Courtesy of Benedictine University
LISLE, Ill. -- Former Massachusetts high school basketball legend Chris Herren accomplished his dream of playing in the NBA first with the Denver Nuggets and later the Boston Celtics, but he nearly lost everything to a gripping drug addiction.
Herren will share his story and address the dangers of drug use and addiction in a talk aimed at teenagers, young adults and parents on Monday, August 27 at the Dan and Ada Rice Center on the campus of Benedictine University. The time of the event will be announced later.
Herren chronicled his rise to professional basketball stardom and the drug culture surrounding it in a 2011 memoir, "Basketball Junkie." The book reveals how his drug addiction began while he was a student-athlete at Boston College and later at Fresno State, where he set school records in assists and steals and was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference team in 1996 and 1997.
His success and rise to professional status continued to overshadow a hidden drug problem that intensified from alcohol to cocaine and eventually heroin. At one point, Herren was found near death with a heroin needle hanging from his arm while he was sitting in the driver's seat of his car.
Extensive drug rehabilitation helped Herren turn his life around. He has been sober since 2008 and continues to rebuild his life. He now mentors young players and speaks at high schools, colleges and other organizations about his experiences.
Herren's message is especially important for teens and young adults, who will learn how easily drugs and alcohol can ruin a promising future, or worse, put an end to it before it even starts, said Marco Massini, associate vice president for Student Life at Benedictine University.
"We are pleased to be able to give the Benedictine community and young people from throughout the area the opportunity to hear Chris Herren's inspirational story," Masini said.
"High school and university students, parents and alumni will hear a story that will impact their lives and hopefully inspire them to make a change in themselves or positively influence others," Masini added.