Former NBA player, Chris Herren, spoke to over 450 Medfield High School juniors and seniors on Thursday afternoon and his message was powerful.
Herren, a former Boston Celtic and Fall River native, was passionate when he told his life story about fame, fortune and his abuse of alcohol and drugs that brought him down, again and again.
Herren was introduced to the students by Jeff Sperling, MHS Dean of Students. Sperling has known Herren for many years as they used to play on opposing basketball teams when they were high school students and Sperling has been a friend of Heather Herren, Chris’ wife, since they were children.
As students sat in the Lowell Mason Auditorium and Herren paced back and forth in front of the stage while speaking, the audience was hushed and attentive. The story Herren told was compelling.
Time and time again he recalled his struggles with Vodka, cocaine and heroin and spoke in detail about how close he came to death because of his substance abuse and its consequences.
Drug and alcohol free since Aug. 1, 2008, he spoke about how his erratic behavior affected not only his pro basketball career but how it impacted his wife and three children. Now no longer a pro basketball player, he feels he has a more important job and it is to tell his life story in hopes that it will help others.
He recounted one young high school girl that heard him speak and how much it helped her with her own struggles and self image. She told him “you helped me” and knowing that he made a difference, he told the Medfield students that doing this kind of speaking is the “best thing I have ever done in my life.”
MHS students were given the opportunity to personally thank Herren at the conclusion of the assembly.