IMG_1031By: Isabella Fordin, John Neff, Paul Walker, Josh Gilbert, Jack Barnes, and Kenan Poole Photo Credit: Aliya Richmond

No amount of points in a McDonald’s All American game or an NBA draft can stand against drug and alcohol abuse.

Chris Herren, who reached his dream of being an NBA player for the Celtics, threw all his opportunities in the NBA away when his drug addiction was discovered. Although his basketball career is over, he started a new career, traveling around the country and sharing his story with everyone from professional football teams to high schoolers.

Herren is a recovered drug addict and public speaker from Falls River, Massachusetts. He had been an outstanding basketball player who had a great chance to be a very successful NBA player. While Herren did make it to the NBA, playing for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics, he struggled with drug addiction. Herren claims that he routinely used heroin before basketball games and surprisingly played well. He did not realize the effect it would have on his life, as he was eventually kicked out of the NBA for his addiction to drugs, sending him back to square one.

Herren has been a public speaker for eight years and has been sober for ten.  Recently, Herren shared his story with eighth through twelfth graders in the Finley Center gymnasium at Ravenscroft School. When asked why he quit, Herren shared a story where he was told he should leave his family because he would not add anything to the family. He was then motivated to turn his life around.

Herren has spoken to an array of audiences, including professional sports teams like the Patriots and athletes like Lebron James. He has spoken to many schools, and he focuses on high-school children, as he feels they are the most vulnerable. Herren shared some thoughts about his experiences in high school  and growing up as a young adult.

Chris Herren left us with the idea that drugs and alcohol can ruin your life, so be brave enough to say, “no.”