Chris Herren, a former NBA player for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics, has a harrowing story to tell of drug abuse and his life-changing efforts to recovery.
He brings his story to Lancaster High School on Wednesday, Oct. 25, where at 6:30 p.m. he will speak at the Hillary Auditorium, which is open and free for the public to attend.
You may have seen Herren’s story on ESPN Film’s documentary “Unguarded,” which was nominated for an Emmy.
He was also the focus of an acclaimed book titled, “Fall River Dreams,” and has shared his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in his memoir, “Basketball Junkie.”
Herren was a high school basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, who scored over 2,000 career points while at Durfee High School and was named to the 1994 McDonald’s All-American team.
After playing college basketball at Fresno State, Herren was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1999 and then was traded to his hometown team, the Boston Celtics in 2000.
After suffering a season-ending injury as a Celtic, Herren went on to play in five countries including Italy, Poland, Turkey, China and Iran.
Herren struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career. Alcohol and drug-free since Aug. 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else.
He now tours the country as a motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate, sharing his story with audiences in the hopes of reaching just one person and making a difference in his or her life.
In inspiring presentations, he draws on his own history to convince audiences that it is never too late to follow your dreams and urges audience members to overcome their setbacks and start making the right choices.
To support this vision, he founded the Herren Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing treatment navigation, educational and mentoring programs to those touched by addiction and to educate people of all ages on the dangers of substance abuse.
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. Since 2012, it is estimated that over 300,000 teens nationwide have taken the pledge to make good choices.
With the generous support of the Lancaster C.A.S.H. program (Chemical Abuse Stops Here) and a number of Lancaster area Chamber members, bringing Herren and his inspiring message to Lancaster was made possible.
Donations will continue to be collected from anyone wishing to contribute to this event though, or to the C.A.S.H. program.
The Lancaster C.A.S.H. program is a school run organization with the help of volunteer parents, which plans events each month for kids in fifth through eighth grade that are drug and alcohol free.
The idea is to expose the kids to activities and events that don’t involve drugs and alcohol that they can do when they get older.
“It takes a community to help raise our children to be good citizens and keep them on the right path,” said Vicki Lucey, “With our community investing in our children and keeping them on the right path, we can hope that they will continue to grow and learn, and return one day to give back and become leaders in the community they were once raised in.”
During the day of Wednesday, Oct. 25, Herren will be speaking to the Lancaster students in grades fifth to twelfth. That night beginning at 6:30 he will be speaking at the Hillary Auditorium at the Lancaster High School, which is open and free to the public.
For more information, contact Mark Uppena at the Lancaster High School at 723-4066.