FORMER NBA PLAYER TELLS STUDENTS THE PITFALLS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE

BY JONATHAN CALIXTE

Massachusetts native and former NBA player, Chris Herren once had it all and then lost all due to substance abuse. 

Herren grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts just an hour away from Boston. A McDonald’s All-American, he was heavily recruited from top-tier schools, ultimately staying local and going to Boston College. It was at BC that he met a female friend on the soccer team who introduced him to drugs. 

Herren addressed crowd gathered at RCC’s Cultural Arts Center on October 4 to hear his story. He said upon the offer from the lady friend he told himself, “I’ll do it just this one time.” Instead “it became a habit I couldn’t stop for 14 years.” 

Becoming a drug user completely changed Herren’s life, he told the audience. He got kicked out of Boston College and then went on to play for Jerry Tarkanian at Fresno State. 

Eventually he made it all the way to the NBA, where he played two seasons (1999/2000 & 2000/2001) but the substance abuse only increased as Herren reached the pros. He told the audience that years of substance abuse derailed his career, nearly ended his life and constantly put him in jeopardy.

After years of struggles Herren became sober in 2008 and has successfully fought his addiction since. Today, however, he is turning that negative into a positive, helping millions of people across the nation. He tells his story 250 times a year, he said. The Herren Project was by Herren, assisting individuals and families struggling with substance abuse and alcohol. Herren speaks to everyone from pro athletes to drug addicts and only continues.