I know I already posted this picture, and said he is my hero. But I want to say a few things about him.
First off, if you don’t know who this wonderful, caring, courageous, man is, his name is Christopher Herren. He’s a former NBA player, and his hometown hero.
His story starts off with him in his high school, playing basketball even though he didn’t want to, but just wanting to follow up in his brothers footsteps. He got into an intense amount of drugs, from pot, to heroin, even meth.
When he was a freshman, he did acid, even though he hated it, he smoked pot, and he drank with his buddies. When he was 18 he was in college, and took cocaine, got addicted to that. Got thrown out of Boston College. Then came Oxycontin, and painkillers such as Vicodin and others. He would go to emergency rooms with his friends and try to score some. He got his second chance in Fresno, California, before being drafted into the NBA. Then came the heroin, just snorting it at first, but that soon changed to shooting it.
He lost everything, his house, his money, his NBA career, his college career, his self-respect, everything. He felt guilty all the time, but couldn’t stop. He over-dosed 4 times, and was pronounced dead for 30 seconds one time. One of his friends was killed over drugs, on a night that he was suppose to be at that friends house, and thank the lord he wasn’t killed that night. He went through some scary things, but the thing that pulled him back into reality was the thought of loosing his kids. He wanted to be their father, so he straightened his act, went to rehab and got better, he’s been sober for 4 years now. And his wife and 3 kids are still standing strong along side him.
January 25, 2013 was the second time he came to my school, October 3, 2012, was the first. We had a half day that day, and when I heard what he was going to be talking about, I was like “great, another dude telling us not to do drugs” but I was wrong, his story his absolutely amazing. I didn’t know walking into that auditorium that he was going to change my life, and he didn’t know that he was going to become one of my heroes.
I followed his every move, and hung on every word he said, it was the interesting. If you haven’t heard him speak, please talk to your school and see if you can get him down there.
On the first day he came, we had to evacuate the school because we had a bomb threat (our school sucks) and he didn’t get to finish, so he came back, free of charge, for the second time.
Since then, I bought and read his book “Basketball Junkie”. It was amazing, it was short, but you really get to understand addiction, and how it was for him to be in the situation he was. It goes into better detail about what happened with basketball than when he speaks.
He’s my hero for many reasons, not because I cut myself or do any drugs, or because I’m in a bad situation.
I have never touched a drug in my life. I have been around them, seen them, smelled them, but won’t do them, I have more self-respect than that.
He’s my hero because he pretty much backed up my cause, to never do a drug. At one point he said that “Junkie’s don’t want to be junkies, they never sat there and thought, hey I wanna be a junkie, it starts of the same way, with a red solo cup and a blunt” the rest just snowballs. His story will forever keep me away from drugs.
He’s also very courageous, to tell his story, it must be so embarrassing to stand up there in front of thousands of people and tell how you did so many things wrong in your life, how you screwed up with the NBA, how you lost your family, but he does it because he wants to make a difference. Before he ever comes in to speak, he needs to sit in his car for 30 minutes, and prepare himself, and then he needs to pace, and even when he’s talking, he paces.
He relives every bad moment and memory he has because of drugs everyday, to make a difference in kids lives, do you know what that does to your body? It send massive amounts of adrenaline into your body, and as your mind relives it, so does your body.
He’s also very caring, not only did this man take the time to tweet and follow me, and thousands of others, he takes the time to TALK to anyone that needs him.
A boy lost his mother a couple days before he came in and he tweeted at him saying that he lost his mother at a young age too, and if there was anything he could do, to let him know.
I’m pretty sure he talked to a girl in my school about her brothers heroin addiction. He took the time to sit with a kid, while my principle was talking, sat with his head to his, and said something. Saw people crying in the audience, and talked to them afterwards.
If there was anyone I would want to sit down and talk with, it would be Chris Herren. Not just because he’s my hero, but because I feel like I could trust him with my life, and I feel like he would help me with anything, because he’s amazing. If you haven’t seen him I advise you to either read his book, or listen to him talk, maybe even watch his 30/30 episode it will change your life.
But thank you Chris Herren, for responding to my tweets, for following me on twitter, for signing my book and taking a picture with me, thank you for being the wonderful man you are, and helping so many kids with their problems, thank you for finally being you, thank you for being my hero, I will never forget you or your speech, you made my senior year the most memorable year of my entire life and I hope I get to see you again one day, you’ve changed my life an enormous amount and I couldn’t thank you enough, you made me look at the world through different eyes. Again, thank you, you truly are a hero, never forget that, never forget you’ve helped so many people, never forget, you’re MY hero.