Chris Herren: Former Basketball Star Proves Addiction Can Be Overcome

Alex KayCorrespondent INovember 3, 2011

26 Nov 1998: Chris Herren #24 of the Fresno St. Bulldogs listens to coach Danny Tarkanian during the Carrs Great Alaska Shootout Game against the U of Alaska at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. Fresno defeated Alaska 82-79. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw  /Allsport
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Addiction is a disease that can afflict anyone.

I’m sure most of us know at least one person who has struggled with an addiction and possibly even succumbed to a substance on which they were dependent.

Addiction is an extremely sad and debilitating disease that affects not only the person with the problem, but their loved ones and anyone close to them as well.

Chris Herren, former basketball star at Durfee High School, Boston College, Fresno State and in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics, knows just how awful being a drug addict can be.

He knows because he lived as one for many years.

Herren put out a book in May with Bill Reynolds entitled Basketball Junkie: A Memoir and was most recently the subject of an ESPN documentary called Unguarded, which recently aired and provided insight into the rise, and eventual drug-fueled fall of Herren and his career and personal life.

Herren’s drug and alcohol use spiraled out of control when he was at Boston College and he soon transferred to Fresno State under the tutelage of Jerry Tarkanian. He continued to party but his talent made him worthy of a second round draft pick by the Denver Nuggets.

After joining the Boston Celtics and playing for the hometown team, that is when Herren fell into his darkest days.

He would use during games and eventually bottomed out and started playing international ball where he continued to abuse Oxycontin and heroin.

It took him a near-death experience to get his act together and start cleaning up his life.

Now over three years sober, Herren is getting his story out to help stay clean, cure the pain and stop others from falling down the same hole he did.

It is a noble cause and everyone should be proud of Herren for being able to beat such a terrible disease and now share his story with the world.