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Former Celtic Chris Herren to speak in Newton on substance abuse

Posted by Laura Gomez  March 4, 2013 03:49 PM

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Former Celtics basketball player Chris Herren will speak about his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse at Newton North High School’s Exhibition Gym on Wednesday, March 13th at 7:00 p.m, according to a press release.

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The John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club, the largest non-profit operating in Newton that is devoted exclusively to the needs of young people ages 6-18, is inviting Newton’s high school students and their parents to hear Herren's amazing story.

Herren is a local basketball legend from Fall River who made the rare jump from high school phenom to the NBA. He played a season of college ball at Boston College before transferring to play for Jerry Tarkanian at Fresno State. After being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1999 draft he was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics.

Drug rumors and positive tests followed him at each stop throughout his career and his NBA dreams were eventually lost to addiction. During his presentation Chris describes his gradual progression from early experimentation with alcohol and marijuana, to his excessive cocaine and Oxycontin use which eventually led to a life and death struggle with heroin.

Herren is now a motivational speaker, author, and sobriety advocate who has remained substance-free since 2008. Since then, Harren has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else.

Through his non-profit organization, The Herren Project, he works to educate youth and at-risk populations on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and provide techniques to handle pressure within their lives, their community or their family situation. More recently he launched “Project Purple” to help reduce the stigma associated with addiction, and to encourage young people to stand together against substance abuse.

“Chris was the type of athlete that many of today’s high school students aspire to be. He was talented, hard-working, secure in his craft, and his efforts and success earned him the public’s eye," said David Sellers, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. "His presentation offers a very powerful message to students and student-athletes about dealing with success, handling adversity, managing situations that come in the community, the classroom, and on the playing field.”

The event is free of charge with advanced registration at www.newtonbgc.com.

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