Chris Herren

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Chris Herren
Chris Herren at the NEBBHOF.jpg
Personal information
Born (1975-09-27) September 27, 1975 (age 43)
Fall River, Massachusetts
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High schoolB.M.C. Durfee
(Fall River, Massachusetts)
NBA draft1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33rd overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career1999–2006
PositionPoint guard
Career history
1999–2000Denver Nuggets
2000–2001Boston Celtics
2001Skipper Bologna
2002–2003Beijing Ducks
2003–2004Jiangsu Dragons
2004Energy Braunschweig
2006Anwil Wloclawek
Career highlights and awards

Christopher Albert Herren (born September 27, 1975) is an American former professional basketball player and motivational speaker. He played in the NBA and several leagues overseas.

Basketball career[edit]

High school[edit]

Herren attended B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts from 1990-1994. His family's history at Durfee includes his father, grandfather, older brother, and three uncles who played basketball. Herren finished his career at Durfee High with a total of 2,073 points, the most points ever scored by an individual at the school to this day. Herren turned down offers from schools such as The University of Kentucky and Duke University to play at Boston College.[1] In his senior year, Herren was named the Boston Globe and Gatorade Player of the year. He also was named to the McDonald's All-America Team.[2] Herren was the central figure in a book about Durfee High basketball entitled Fall River Dreams.[3]

College Career[edit]

Boston College, 1994[edit]

Entering Boston College, Herren was featured in multiple magazines such as Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, hyping his possible success.[4] Before playing, Herren failed a drug test for marijuana and cocaine use.[2] On November 25, 1994, in his first game for Boston College, Herren scored 14 points in 21 minutes of playing time,[5] but broke his wrist and was ruled out for the entire 1994-1995 season. Within three months of his injury, Herren failed two more drug tests for marijuana and cocaine use, and was subsequently expelled from the team and the university.[4]

Fresno State, 1995–1999[edit]

After being kicked out of Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State to play basketball under coach Jerry Tarkanian. After sitting out a year, per NCAA transfer rules, Herren made his debut, as a sophomore, on December 10, 1996, for the Bulldogs.[4] During his sophomore year, Herren averaged 31 points per game over his last four games and finished the season averaging 17.5 ppg. On November 25, 1997, Herren was found to have failed another drug test. After going to a rehabilitation center for 28 days, Herren returned to the team on January 10, 1998.[1] During his senior season, Herren scored 29 points in the 2nd round of the Great Alaska Shootout against #1 ranked Duke. Fresno lost the game 93-82, which was nationally televised. Herren went on to play in 86 games at Fresno State where he averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.[5]

Professional career, 1999-2006[edit]

After his senior year at Fresno State, Herren entered the NBA draft and was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round with the 33rd overall pick.[5] The following year as a member of the Boston Celtics, Herren received his first time as a regular starter. After starting off 2-3, coach Rick Pitino inserted him into the starting lineup. He started seven games in a row, resulting in a 4-3 record while playing 29 minutes per night. Herren ended up playing 70 games from 1999-2001 as a member of the Nuggets and Celtics. Overall, he averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 assists per game for his NBA career.[5] After being released by the Celtics, Herren went to play professionally for teams in Italy, Poland, Turkey, China, Germany and Iran.[4] Herren once scored 63 points in a CBA game for the Beijing Ducks.

NBA Season Statistics

Season Age Team Pos Games MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
1999-00 24 Den PG 45 13.3 1.0 2.8 .363 0.5 1.5 .358 .5 1.3 .368 0.6 0.9 .675 1.2 2.5 0.3 0 0.9 1.6 3.1
2000-01 25 Bos PG 35 16.3 1.2 3.8 .302 0.6 2.2 .291 .5 1.6 .317 0.4 0.5 .750 0.8 2.2 0.6 0 0.8 1.7 3.3


Drug use[edit]

As of 2004, Herren had twenty felonies on his record, all drug related.[1] In his time at Boston College, he failed 63 drug tests while failing another 12 at Fresno State.[2] While playing for the Boston Celtics, Herren started to use painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet.[4] In December 2007, Herren was charged with possession of heroin in the parking lot of a Dunkin' Donuts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.[7] Upon returning from playing overseas, Herren started to purchase and use crystal meth. In Fall River, Massachusetts, Herren overdosed on heroin and crashed into a utility pole. According to paramedics, he had been dead for thirty seconds.[8]


After completing intensive rehabilitation programs, Herren has been alcohol and drug-free since August 1, 2008.[9] In June 2009, Herren launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company to mentor players on and off the court.[10] Herren has written a book with Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds entitled Basketball Junkie: A Memoir, documenting his career on and off the court. Basketball Junkie was released in May 2011.[11] In 2011, ESPN aired a documentary, Unguarded, directed by Jonathan Hock, based upon Herren's basketball career and drug related issues. On March 20, 2012, it was announced that Unguarded had been nominated for two Emmys: Outstanding Sports Documentary and Outstanding Editing.[12] Herren now travels the United States sharing his story about his drug abuse and how he is overcoming it with professional help.

The Herren Project[edit]

The Herren Project (THP) was formed in 2011. Its main goal is to increase awareness on all of the dangers of substance abuse and to provide assistance to take the first steps towards living a sober life. Other goals which go hand in hand with the major ones, are to positively impact lives of the ones who need help by giving them correct guidance. The project also strives to educate the youth and other potentially at risk societies to the dangers of peer pressure within their lives. Lastly, this project provides scholarships to programs that help people dealing with problems.[13] In 2015, THP has assisted over 355 individuals and families with treatment navigation and support services. Over 1,600 students after hearing Chris Herren's message responded and reached out to the team for help. The Project has gained over $333,000 in treatment scholarships. There are five areas of support for the THP treatment navigation. They include treatment navigation into a facility for those struggling with addiction, a scholarship program for those in need of a place of residence while recovering, recovery coaching, assistance with aftercare planning and support upon completion of a treatment program, and guidance and support for loved ones.[14]

Project Purple[edit]

Project Purple is a non profit foundation created by Chris Herren.[15] This project was launched in order to help break the scar of addiction, bring awareness to how dangerous substance abuse is, and encourage others to navigate life's challenges by making positive decisions. Project Purple started from an inspiration Herren got from a student at a high school he was speaking at in 2011. Some of the students in the front row were wearing purple shirts and after Herren shared his story one of the students stood up and spoke. She said, “Thank you Mr. Herren for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.” After Herren heard this he was captivated with how courageous this student was to stand up and share the story and the symbolic meaning of the shirts. Herren was motivated and influenced by their courage, and it inspired him to spread this message to the youth across the United States. Project Purple's main mission is to motivate and empower youth to stand up and make a difference.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Unguarded. Dir. Jonathan Hock. Team Marketing, 2011. DVD.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Jennifer. "From Basketball Star to Junkie". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 23 October 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Herren has it all, by Pat Bigold, Star-Bulletin, published February 26, 1999
  4. ^ a b c d e Reynolds, Bill (2012). Basketball Junkie: A Memoir. St. Martin's Griffin.
  5. ^ a b c d "Chris Herren". Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Chris Herren". Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  7. ^ Hoop Dreams Deferred: The Sad Tale of Chris Herren, The Heights, published December 4, 2006
  8. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian. "Herren's bio shows dark side". Yahoo. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  9. ^ Changing of the Guard: Finally Clean and Sober, Herren Ready To Embrace Post-Basketball Life,, published May 31, 2009
  10. ^ Transition Game, Newport Daily News, published July 29, 2009
  11. ^ Book Details Rise of Celtics, South Coast Today, published November 13, 2010
  12. ^ "HE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES ANNOUNCES THE NOMINEES FOR THE 33RD ANNUAL SPORTS EMMY® AWARDS". Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  13. ^ Herren, Chris. "THP: Mission". theherrenproject. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Annual Report 2015 |". Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-04-22.
  15. ^ "Project Purple". Project Purple. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Mission & Background | THP Project Purple Initiative". Retrieved 2016-04-24.

External links[edit]