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Former NBA Player, Recovered Drug Addict Chris Herren to Speak on Campus Feb. 13

Former NBA player Chris Herren, who lost his professional career to a drug addiction that nearly killed him, will speak on the Old Dominion University campus Monday, Feb. 13. His talk is sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion in ODU's Student Health Services.

Herren's talk, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center, is free and open to the public.

"Many people struggle with alcohol and/or drug abuse. Former NBA player Chris Herren has a powerful message about how drugs can destroy your dreams and how recovery can change your life," said Kimberly Cholewinski, assistant director of health promotion with Student Health Services.

Herren's harrowing story was told in the ESPN documentary "Unguarded," and in his memoir, "Basketball Junkie," co-written with Bill Reynolds, a columnist with the Providence Journal.

A hotshot prospect from a hardscrabble Massachusetts town, Herren played a year at Boston College before transferring to Fresno State. Drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft as the 33rd pick overall, Herren played a season in Colorado before being traded to his "hometown" team, the Boston Celtics. It turned out to be the worst possible thing for the local hoops icon.

Herren was soon drawn in to a cycle of drug abuse, which culminated with his arrest in December 2004, charged with possession of heroin and driving under the influence with a revoked license.

After completing intensive rehabilitation programs, Herren has been drug-free since June 4, 2008, and sober since Aug. 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.

In addition, he established a foundation in 2011, The Herren Project, as a way to assist young addicts through the recovery process. As a result of the popularity of his story, Herren is a sought-after motivational speaker, and has appeared before audiences as diverse as students, athletes and prisoners.

Student Health Services urges ODU students to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to succeed in and out of the classroom. Topics covered in its outreach initiatives include alcohol, drugs, sexual health, nutrition, physical activity, stress and many other factors that can affect student life.

For more information about Herren's talk, contact Cholewinski at 683-5927 or kcholewi@odu.edu.

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