Chris Herren
Chris Herren at the NEBBHOF (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Born (1975-09-27) September 27, 1975 (age 47)
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
Number8, 12
Career history
1999–2000Denver Nuggets
2000–2001Boston Celtics
2001Skipper Bologna
2002–2003Beijing Ducks
2003–2004Jiangsu Dragons
2004Energy Braunschweig
2006Anwil Wloclawek
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

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.

Youth and high school

Herren attended B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, from 1990 to 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 career points in school history.[citation needed] 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.[1] Herren was the central figure in a book about Durfee High basketball entitled Fall River Dreams.[2]

College basketball

Boston College (1994)

Herren turned down offers from the University of Kentucky and Duke University to play at Boston College.[3] Entering Boston College, Herren was featured in Sports Illustrated, hyping his possible success.[4] Before playing, Herren failed a drug test for marijuana and cocaine use.[1] 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)

After being kicked out of Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State to play basketball under coach Jerry Tarkanian. Here he was hailed as much as at BC, featured in Rolling Stone magazine. After sitting out a year, per NCAA transfer rules, Herren first made news in the Fresno Bee for his involvement in a disturbance at a local bar.

Herren impressed everyone at practice, and when Herren made his debut, as a sophomore, on December 10, 1996, for the Bulldogs.[4] he 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 21 days, Herren returned to the team on January 10, 1998.[3] This particular season was featured in the FoxSports documentary “Between the Madness.” Viewers got an excellent insight to the charismatic Herren as he turned the tables on Mike Wallace, interviewing him.

Both his exploits on and off the court as well as his mid-season crash after failing that drug test were featured in the two hour doc, culled together from over 600 hours of footage. Herren finished the season strong, willing Fresno State into the National Invitation Tournament by leading the Bulldogs past Hawaii. Herren led the squad into Madison Square Garden but the Bulldogs fell short. In a later press conference Herren announced his plan to stay at Fresno State another year.

During his senior season, Herren scored 29 points in the second round of the Great Alaska Shootout against No. 1 ranked Duke. Fresno lost the game, 93–82, which was nationally televised. Overall, Herren played in 86 games at Fresno State where he averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.[5]

Professional basketball (1999–2006)

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 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. He was later released by the Celtics. Herren ended up playing 70 games from 1999 to 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]

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.[citation needed]

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 25 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 usage and recovery

Herren struggled with substance use for much of his career.[3] While playing for the Boston Celtics, he started to use painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet.[4] In December 2007, Herren was charged with possession of heroin after passing out in the drive thru of a Dunkin' Donuts in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.[7] In June 2008 in Fall River, he overdosed on heroin and crashed into a utility pole. According to paramedics, he was allegedly 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, he launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, a basketball player development company to mentor players on and off the court.[10] Herren wrote a book with Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds titled 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 through Herren Talks, averaging 200 talks a year. Herren’s goal is to educate and inspire students in a way they’ll actually listen. Herren has spoken to over a million students and others, while also advocating for curriculum change to help youth get to the core of the need for alcohol and drug abuse - mental health and PTSD awareness. [13] In 2011, Herren founded the nonprofit Herren Project.[14] In 2018, he also founded Herren Wellness,[15] a residential health and wellness program.


  1. ^ a b Johnson, Jennifer. "From Basketball Star to Junkie". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved October 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Herren has it all, by Pat Bigold, Star-Bulletin, published February 26, 1999
  3. ^ a b c Unguarded. Dir. Jonathan Hock. Team Marketing, 2011. DVD.
  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 October 23, 2012.
  6. ^ "Chris Herren". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  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. Archived from the original on December 10, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 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. ^ "THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES ANNOUNCES THE NOMINEES FOR THE 33RD ANNUAL SPORTS EMMY® AWARDS". Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  13. ^ "Chris Herren: Motivational Speaker On Substance Use & Wellness". Herren Talks. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "Addiction Recovery Non-Profit Organization". Herren Project. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "New England Drug Rehab & Treatment Center - HerrenWellness". Herren Wellness. Retrieved April 16, 2019.