LHS welcomes former NBA player Chris Herren for Red Ribbon Week


Stacia Papuga, Sports Editor

For Red Ribbon week, Ludlow High School welcomed former NBA player Chris Herren to talk about his drug abuse on Oct. 28 in the LHS auditorium.

“A Night with Chris Herren” was put on by the Ludlow C.A.R.E.S Coalition, which is a diverse community-wide organization united in providing opportunities to create a healthy environment that allows Ludlow youth to be successful.

“We were able to put on ‘A Night with Chris Herren’ because there are so many people, organizations and businesses in Ludlow who truly care about our young people and want them to be successful,” said Laura Rooney.

Chris Herren, who grew up in Fall River, Mass., was an outstanding basketball player who accomplished his dream of playing for his home team the Boston Celtics. The down side to his dream was that he lost everything due to addiction.

During his talk, Herren explained to everyone what he went through when he started to use drugs at the age of 18.

“I am not here to tell you to set goals. I’m here to tell you about my nightmare with drugs. I didn’t know that one line of cocaine would take me 14 years to walk away from,” said Herren.

He said that he would remember when he would have to come listen to some older person talk about their addiction when he was in high school and throughout his college basketball career and that he thought it was just a joke since he knew he’ll never become one.

“I would walk into the auditorium with my friends and sit in the back talking while the guest speaker talked about drug addiction, saying how I’ll never be like them when I’m older,” he said.

His addiction cost him his college career when he failed to pass multiple drug tests. Also, when he started his NBA career, it lasted for only three years because of his drug use. He then went to go play for a team in Europe after he was let go from the Celtics and and his use of heroin shortened that stint as well. His relationship with his family fell apart because he would waste all of his money and free time shooting up drugs.

“Everyone learns from their mistakes and becomes a better person from it,” said sophomore Bela Halastra, “He triesto teach people not to follow in his foot steps.”

From 28 to 32 years old, Chris was a junkie living off the streets trying to find drugs. On August 1, 2008, that was the first day he decide to become sober, and he has been ever since that day.

Now, for the past four years, Herren has been traveling to high schools, colleges, and professional sports teams, telling them all about his story.

Herren established The Herren Project which was founded in 2011. The Herren Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.