Former drug-addicted NBA player to serve as guest speaker in event sponsored by All-Sports Association

herren-celtics-ballEx-NBA player Chris Herren will serve as the guest speaker on Wednesday night in an event sponsored by the All-Sports Association, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“Chris is a powerful speaker who speaks to many young audiences ranging from middle school through college,” said All Sports Association president Chad Hamilton.

“Thus far we have approximately 1,000 students ranging from middle school to high school age set to attend the event. Because of the gracious sponsorship of the OCSO & Northwest Florida State College, there is no cost for the students to attend.

“The All Sports Association believes it is important to provide a speaker of Mr. Herren’s reputation and credibility to highlight the impact of choices on our lives. Chris has an impactful story and delivers an emotional message. We believe that Mr. Herren’s message will be retained by the attendees & that they will consider the outcomes of the choices they make.”

Herren will speak at the Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday in an event supported by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department. According to department spokesman Major J.D. Peacock, the choice to support an event featuring a message like Herren’s was a no-brainer.

“Ever since Sheriff Ashley came into office, one of his strongest priorities has been the youth of our community,” said Peacock by phone on Friday.

“I think you can see that by the numerous programs that we are involved in. This is a partnership with All Sports and the FCA, and any time you can get upwards of 1,000 teenagers in a room and listen to a message about good and bad choices, then you have a great opportunity to make a difference.

“Chad thought up the idea and he contacted us. We went online and watched Chris Herren’s story and saw the message he brings, it’s very powerful. Here’s a guy who had all the talent in the world and lost it because of his choices, but now he has made it all the way back. It’s awesome.”

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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