Chris Herren, whose professional basketball career was snuffed by substance abuse, tells his cautionary tale to students at Marist High School in Eugene. 
(Toni Cooper/Marist High School)
Chris Herren, whose professional basketball career was snuffed by substance abuse, tells his cautionary tale to students at Marist High School in Eugene. (Toni Cooper/Marist High School)
EUGENE — Former NBA player and recovering addict Chris Herren addressed Marist High School students regarding the domino effect of substance abuse Sept. 22. Herren’s own drug use led to the premature end of a promising professional basketball career.

He was a high school basketball star in Fall River, Massachusetts, and aspired to play for the Boston Celtics. In 1999 he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and later was traded to the Celtics. Having achieved his dream, he seemed to have it all. But substance abuse prevented him from going further and his basketball career ended.

Students listened quietly as Herren addressed gateway drugs, prescription drug abuse, drinking and driving and self-harm.

“Raising awareness about substance abuse with today’s youth is so important and this fits with our calling to educate the whole student — body, mind and spirit,” said Stacey Baker, Marist principal. “Giving our students the information and tools they need to help them make good choices is also part of our initiative to help students be healthy and balanced.”

Herren has been drug- and alcohol-free since Aug. 1, 2008, and is committed to sharing his story in hope of preventing others from making the same mistakes.