2017 – Chris Herren

Chris Herren, 2017 Keynote Speaker

Chris Herren was a high school basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, who scored over 2,000 career points while at Durfee High School and was named to the 1994 McDonald’s All-American team. Herren realized his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1999 and then was traded to his hometown team, the Boston Celtics in 2000. After suffering a season ending injury as a Celtic, Herren went on to play in five countries including Italy, Poland, Turkey, China and Iran.

Herren struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career. Alcohol and drug-free since August 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else. He shares his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in his memoir, Basketball Junkie, as well as in numerous interviews throughout the Emmy nominated ESPN Films documentary, Unguarded, of which he is the subject.

In June of 2009, he launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company that offers basketball training, camps and clinics to top basketball prospects in New England.

Off the court, Chris Herren continues to share his story with audiences in the hopes of reaching just one person and making a difference in his or her life. In inspiring presentations, he draws on his own history to convince audiences that it is never too late to follow your dreams and urges audience members to overcome setbacks and start making the right choices.

To support his vision, he founded the Herren Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing treatment navigation, educational and mentoring programs to those touched by addiction and to educate people of all ages on the dangers of substance abuse. In 2012, The Herren Project launched a national anti-substance abuse campaign, Project Purple, to encourage people of all ages to stand up to substance abuse. Since 2012, it is estimated that over 300,000 teens nationwide have taken the pledge to make good choices, standing up and together against drugs and alcohol. The Herren Project continues to make a significant impact nationwide one person, one family at a time.

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