Former NBA player Chris Herren gained fame on the courts with the Boston Celtics, only to lose everything to alcohol and drug addiction. Sober since Aug. 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else.
Herren will bring his inspirational story to Illinois State University with Unguarded at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, to Redbird Arena.
The talk is sponsored by University High School. Part of the Speaker Series of Illinois State University, the event is free and open to the public.
Herren shared his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in his memoir, Basketball Junkie, as well as in numerous interviews throughout the ESPN documentary Unguarded, of which he is the subject.
A high school basketball legend from Fall River, Mass., Herren scored 2,073 career points while at Durfee High School and was a Boston Globe and Gatorade player of the year, and named to the McDonald’s All-American Team in 1994.
The 6’2” guard broke his wrist during his first collegiate game at Boston College. Sidelined by his injury, Herren failed several drug tests and left Boston College. He was picked up by Fresno State and legendary coach Jerry Tarkania, then drafted in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft to the Denver Nuggets. He realized his childhood dream when traded to the Boston Celtics in 2000, but he was falling into a spiral of addiction. He bounced from team to team, country to country for nearly a decade until he dedicated himself to sobriety.
In June 2009, he launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company. He also founded The Herren Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to families affected by addiction. In 2012, The Herren Project launched a national anti-substance abuse campaign, Project Purple, to encourage people of all ages to stand up to substance abuse.
The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.