Ex-NBA drug addict to speak at University of West Florida

herren2A former NBA player Chris Herren, who has successfully battled substance abuse will be speaking at the University of West Florida on March 4.

Herren, who has been alcohol and drug-free since Aug. 1, 2008, struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career with the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.

Herren will be speaking about his journey through addiction and recovery at the UWF Field House at 6 p.m. This event is open to the public.

Herren’s speech is sponsored by Twelve Oaks Recovery Center, a 102-bed residential addiction treatment facility for adults and adolescents in Navarre.

“Twelve Oaks is excited to be partnering with the University of West Florida to provide this motivational event,” said Twelve Oaks Executive Director Paul Reed. “Chris Herren is an inspiration and we are honored to be able to share his message with the local community.”

Twelve Oaks is part of the California-based CRC Health Group.

“Herren’s message has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Christina Hawkins, senior director, CRC Health Group. “He is extremely open and honest about his experiences, and can relate to people in a unique and genuine way.”

A former NBA player, Herren was a high school basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, who realized his lifelong dream of playing for the Boston Celtics only to lose it all to alcohol and drug addictions.

In 2009, he launched “Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren”, a basketball player development company that offers basketball training, camps and clinics, in New England.

Off the court, Herren continues to share his story with audiences in hopes of making a difference other lives. In his presentation, he draws on his own history to convince audiences that it is never too late to follow your dreams and urges them to overcome their setbacks and start making the right choices.

After playing 70 games from 1999-2001, Chris’ NBA career was over after a season ending knee injury.

During his NBA career, Herren played 45 games for Denver Nuggets (averaging 3.1 ppg, 2.5 apg) and 25 games for Boston Celtics (3.3 ppg, 2.2 apg).

In total, Herren appeared in 70 NBA games, averaging 3.2 ppg, 2.4 apg in 14.4 minutes per contest. After being released by the Celtics, Herren went on to play professionally for teams in Italy, Poland, Turkey, China, and Iran.

He has since refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else, along with a mission to help others.


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