By: Ava Silvestri 25’, Editorial Staff

Throughout a teenager’s life, they hear the repeated preachings of people saying “Don’t do drugs” and “Drugs will affect you long term” – But teenagers do not always listen. 

On May 25th, Chris Herren came to speak with students, parents, and faculty of Indian Hills to discuss his experiences with drugs.

Chris Herren is a former NBA basketball player. He graduated from Boston College, beginning his career as a part of the Denver Nuggets, eventually moving to the Boston Celtics. This sounds like a basketball player’s dream, right? Well behind the scenes, Chris Herren was struggling immensely with drug addiction. He struggled with this addiction for years, and it affected his relationships with his friends and family, himself, and his performance on the court. 

After being sober since 2008, Chris Herren is now a motivational speaker. He started a project called HerrenTalks where he has spoken to over one million students, parents, faculty, and members of communities  across the nation about his experiences. What makes him stand out from the rest of motivational speakers is that he dug deeper into the topic and used his experiences to connect with students and stop the problem before it even arises in those in the earlier stages of struggling. During high school, teenagers can become looped into drugs and other harmful substances affecting them in ways they do not understand, but by connecting Herren’s drug addictions to his athletic career, he has touched so many people.

Kathleen Robinson, from the Indian Hills Guidance Department, says, “Chris Herren’s assembly makes students stop and think, ‘Am I proud of who I am and who I am becoming?’ High school and life will present you with choices, the good choices will lead you to better opportunities for success while negative choices not so much. Chris Herren’s presentation highlighted that for our students. It is rare to have an individual who can capture the attention of about 1,000 people, and you can feel the emotion in the room. Many students reached out to counselors and myself following the assembly thanking the school for hosting Chris Herren.”

Chris Herren has touched many lives and has helped people persevere through difficult situations that one may not always share on the surface. 

There will soon be the Chris Herren Project Club coming to Indian Hills, so stay tuned for more information about this soon-to-be amazing club.

“The focus oftentimes is on the worst day when it comes to speaking about addiction. We need to understand how this begins rather than how it ends. Prevention starts on the first day.” -Chris Herren