Christopher Albert Herren (born September 27, 1975) is an American former professional basketball player and motivational speaker. He played in the NBA and several leagues overseas.
- 1 Basketball career
- 1.1 High school
- 1.2 College career
- 1.2.1 Boston College, 1994
- 1.2.2 Fresno State, 1995–1999
- 1.3 Professional career, 1999–2006
- 2 Drug use
- 3 Recovery
- 3.1 Herren Talks
- 3.2 Herren Project
- 3.3 Herren Wellness
- 4 Notes
- 5 External links
Herren attended B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, from 1990 to 1994. His family’s history at Durfee includes his father, grandfather, older brother, and three uncles who played basketball. Herren finished his career at Durfee High with a total of 2,073 points, the most points ever scored by an individual at the school to this day. Herren turned down offers from The University of Kentucky and Duke University to play at Boston College. In his senior year, Herren was named the Boston Globe and Gatorade Player of the year. He also was named to the McDonald’s All-America Team. Herren was the central figure in a book about Durfee High basketball entitled Fall River Dreams.
Boston College, 1994
Entering Boston College, Herren was featured in multiple magazines such as Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, hyping his possible success. Before playing, Herren failed a drug test for marijuana and cocaine use. On November 25, 1994, in his first game for Boston College, Herren scored 14 points in 21 minutes of playing time, but broke his wrist and was ruled out for the entire 1994–1995 season. Within three months of his injury, Herren failed two more drug tests for marijuana and cocaine use, and was subsequently expelled from the team and the university.
Fresno State, 1995–1999
After being kicked out of Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State to play basketball under coach Jerry Tarkanian. After sitting out a year, per NCAA transfer rules, Herren made his debut, as a sophomore, on December 10, 1996, for the Bulldogs. During his sophomore year, Herren averaged 31 points per game over his last four games and finished the season averaging 17.5 ppg. On November 25, 1997, Herren was found to have failed another drug test. After going to a rehabilitation center for 28 days, Herren returned to the team on January 10, 1998. During his senior season, Herren scored 29 points in the second round of the Great Alaska Shootout against No. 1 ranked Duke. Fresno lost the game, 93–82, which was nationally televised. Herren went on to play in 86 games at Fresno State where he averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.
Professional career, 1999–2006
After his senior year at Fresno State, Herren entered the NBA draft and was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round with the 33rd overall pick.
The following year as a member of the Boston Celtics, Herren received his first time as a regular starter. After starting 2–3, coach Rick Pitino inserted him into the starting lineup. He started seven games in a row, resulting in a 4–3 record while playing 29 minutes per night.
Herren ended up playing 70 games from 1999 to 2001 as a member of the Nuggets and Celtics. Overall, he averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 assists per game for his NBA career. After being released by the Celtics, Herren went to play professionally for teams in Italy, Poland, Turkey, China, Germany and Iran. Herren once scored 63 points in a CBA game for the Beijing Ducks.
NBA season statistics
Herren struggled with substance use for much of his career. While playing for the Boston Celtics, Herren started to use painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. In December 2007, Herren was charged with possession of heroin in the parking lot of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. In June 2004 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Herren overdosed on heroin and crashed into a utility pole. According to paramedics, he had been dead for thirty seconds.
After completing intensive rehabilitation programs, Herren has been alcohol and drug-free since August 1, 2008. In June 2009, Herren launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company to mentor players on and off the court. Herren has written a book with Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds entitled Basketball Junkie: A Memoir, documenting his career on and off the court. Basketball Junkie was released in May 2011. In 2011, ESPN aired a documentary, Unguarded, directed by Jonathan Hock, based upon Herren’s basketball career and drug-related issues. On March 20, 2012, it was announced that Unguarded had been nominated for two Emmys: Outstanding Sports Documentary and Outstanding Editing. Herren now travels the United States sharing his story through Herren Talks with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others. In 2011, Herren grew his vision of support for others when he founded the nonprofit Herren Project. Through the organization, Herren and his team empower schools and communities to make healthy choices, while also guiding families through recovery. In 2018, he also founded Herren Wellness, a residential health and wellness program that helps guests lead healthy, substance-free lives.
Chris Herren has spoken to over one million students, athletes and community members, sparking honest discussions on the topics of substance use disorder and wellness. As a person in long-term recovery since 2008, he continues to share his story nationally with a renewed focus on prevention education and challenging audiences to rethink how we look at the disease of addiction; changing the focus from the last day to the first.
Founded in 2011, Herren Project helps individuals and family members find treatment and support for the disease of addiction. Herren Project has become part of a larger community that guides individuals and their families through recovery working to break the stigma of addiction, bring awareness to the dangers of substance use and encourage positive decision-making to navigate life’s challenges.
Herren Wellness is a residential substance use, health, and wellness organization for men and women with the focus on guiding guests through a process of self-discovery. Helping individuals uncover why they turn to unhealthy behaviors or substances, and give them the tools they need to live healthy, authentic, and substance-free lives. The holistic recovery approach offers structured daily services for guests that focus on eight key elements of health and wellness.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com