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Chris Herren: Aiming to Empower


Former NBA player, Chris Herren, spoke to the Gilmour community in October about the life-changing effects of drugs and alcohol. His past experiences with drug addiction surprised many audience members. Herren hoped to influence everyone to steer clear from drugs and alcohol.

A former basketball star at Fresno State University, Boston College, Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics, Herren had everything at his fingertips. With a wife and three kids, he was surrounded by love and money. While Herren appeared well on the outside, he had a deep issue with drugs and alcohol.

Chris Herren plays for the Boston Celtics on Nov 11, 2000. (credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Like many drug addicts, Herren continually told himself “one more,” meaning one more beer or one more oxycontin pill. Yet, this was an ongoing cycle. Herren constantly craved the “high” that he received from drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet and his addiction got out of hand. Attending a treatment center was the only way to get better, but he had to leave his professional basketball career and family behind.

Shocked, Cole Kruschke (‘19) realized that this is a serious issue, and he will definitely steer away “from any type of drugs.”

Herren overdosed several times. On one account, he was pronounced dead for a minute and a half. Herren felt lucky to receive multiple chances to save his life. After many attempts to remain sober, he had finally achieved this on August 1, 2008. He is now 10 years sober.

His wife and children are still by his side, and he cherishes every moment with them. Currently, Herren travels the country talking about his story and informing those of the dangers that are caused by drugs and alcohol.

Abby Bartlett (‘19) found it interesting that Herren was able to make his audience feel an “emotional reaction that incited an indescribable feeling of loss and guilt, while spreading an education message.”

Chris Herren left everyone in the room speechless. Counselors, administrators, and teachers have extended a warm welcome into their offices for anyone who may have questions about addiction.

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Gabby Dunlevy is a senior at Gilmour Academy, residing in Gates Mills, Ohio. She is hoping to pursue a career in psychology, primarily dealing with children. She has always had a passion for writing and is now exploring the field of journalism. Additionally, Gabby has always enjoyed school and is always open to new challenges. When Gabby is not working hard in school, you can find her volunteering or spending time with family. Through school, Gabby is involved in M.A.D Club, Photo Club, Measles Initiative, Astronomy Club, Blue and Grey Society, as well as Honor Council.