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Former NBA player, “Basketball Junkie” to discuss heroin’s deadly grip

August 17, 2012

Lisle, Illinois ~It’s a tragic narrative that has become all too common in the Chicago suburbs in recent months – the promising future of a young adult ripped apart by a concealed addiction to heroin.

It’s a story former NBA player Chris Herren knows all too well, and wants to help re-write.

A Massachusetts high school basketball legend, Herren was thought to be destined for greatness. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1999 and was later traded to the Boston Celtics. But a hidden addiction to painkillers and heroin quickly put an end to his career and nearly his life. At one point, Herren was found near death with a heroin needle hanging from his arm while sitting in the driver’s seat of his car.

Herren, whose story was chronicled in a 2011 memoir “Basketball Junkie” and the ESPN documentary “Unguarded,” will address the dangers of addiction and drugs in a talk aimed at teenagers, young adults and parents at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 27 at Benedictine University’s Dan and Ada Rice Center. The event is free to the public. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.

For more information, contact Mark McHorney, director of athletics, at or (630) 829-6150.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.

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