Ben U Athletics to host influential Speaker

By  Tom Brown

Sports Editor

Former NBA player and heroin addict Chris Herren will address the Benedictine University community on the dangers of drug addiction at 6:00 p.m. Monday August 27th in Benedictine University’s Dan and Ada Rice Center.

The event, co-sponsored by Benedictine University Athletics and the Center for Civic Leadership, will aim to inform both the young and old members of the community on the dangers of addiction in both prescription and illegal drugs.

Benedictine University director of athletics Mark McHorney believes that Herren will be a great inspiration to the Benedictine community. “We wanted a speaker who could make an impact on our student’ lives and I think we found that with Chris,” said McHorney.

After enjoying a successful collegiate career at both Boston College and Fresno state, Herren was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 N.B.A. draft by the Denver Nuggets.

Herren’s career with the Nuggets and later the Boston Celtics was unfortunately cut short due to his ongoing struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, eventually resulting in his arrest in 2004 for possession of heroin. Herren eventually completed several rehabilitation stints and has been drug and alcohol free since 2008.

Since he became sober, Herren has been very active in the community by educating America’s youth about the dangers of drug addiction. He established Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball company that helps develop players both on and off the court as well as the Herren project which is a program developed to help young addicts through the recovery process.

In addition to his efforts, Herren was the subject of an ESPN documentary entitled “Unguarded”which details his rise and fall from the NBA.  “We are very excited to have Chris and we hope we get a big showing from everyone in the community whether they are an athlete or not,” McHorney said.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. The doors open at 5:15 pm and Chris will begin his presentation at 6:00 pm.