ST. LOUIS – A silent auditorium at Pattonville High School is focused soley on the man on stage.

The man is Chris Herren.

Once on the cover of Sports Illustrated, recruited by the NCAA’s top programs and thriving in the world of basketball, Herren was an unstoppable force.

The only thing capable of stopping him?


“You know, I struggled mightily with Heroin addiction,” Herren said. “The scariest thing about addiction is nobody knows who’s going to suffer from it.”

After a remarkable high school career in his hometown of Fall River, Mass., Herron began his collegiate career at Boston College. Shortly after a broken-wrist injury cut stripped him of his freshman season, Herren tested positive for drugs and was released from the program.

Despite his shortcomings at Boston College, Herren was granted a new opportunity at Fresno St. where he thrived in his first season. Despite some drug-related issues throughout his junior and senior seasons, Herron was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 NBA draft.

He played two total seasons in the NBA, including one-year stints with the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics, before his drug addiction cut his career short.

“I’m so grateful for my lowest points,” Herren said. “They’ve given me what I have today.”

Today Herren is celebrating 14 years of sobriety. He speaks at over 200 assemblies per year, sharing his story with over 2 million people during that time.

“The message that he has to kids is so powerful you can hear a pen drop,” Maryland Heights Chief of Police Bill Carson said.

In addition to his motivational speaking, Herren works to end substance abuse in an variety of other ways, including his own rehab facility in Massachusetts.