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Former NBA Player, Drug Addict Returns to Area to 'Stand Up Against Abuse'

Chris Herren will speak in Mt. Olive on Thursday; event open and free to the public.

Chris Herren.
Chris Herren.

Drugs made a major impact on his life – they altered it completely.

Now, he’s trying to make an impact on the lives of others by taking a stand.

In 2013, former Boston Celtic and NCAA standout Chris Herren visited West Morris Central to speak with students and parents in two separate events. The sessions were nothing short of jaw dropping and brought information – and help – to those who needed it.

On Thursday, Herren is heading back to Morris County and share his story of addiction along with his road to recovery at the Mt. Olive Performing Arts Center at 18 Corey Road in Flanders. The event is free and open to the public.

The Morris County Department of Human Services, the Municipal Alliances of Morris County, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Community Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Morris are all sponsoring the event. Online registration is recommended by going here.

Herren’s struggle and road to sobriety led to a memoir titled “Basketball Junkie,” released in 2011, and an Emmy-nominated ESPN documentary titled “UnGuarded.”

Herren explained to the West Morris Central crowds last year how he was a highly recruited high school basketball player from Massachusetts who was like any other teen from the suburbs, smoking pot here and there, having a drink on a weekends.

That opened the door to cocaine in college, pills and, eventually, heroin. All of which led to the demise of his professional basketball career.

Through a strong New England accent, Herren recounts his decades-long story in chronological order without skipping a beat, leaving no room for subtlety or prediction.

When he’s through – Herren’s been sober since August 1, 2008 – the former basketball player takes questions from the crowd and answers them quickly and bluntly.

All of it comes together in a harrowing, thought-provoking tale that cautions families of all races and backgrounds.

Herren’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at the Mt. Olive Performing Arts Center.

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