NBA Star Chris Herren To Speak To Port Students

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Former NBA player Chris Herren will speak to the Port Washington community about his descent into a world of substance abuse and addiction and his 15-year recovery during a special evening presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 11 in the Weber Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m. The event is open to the entire Port Washington community.

Chris Herren with students from a nearby high school
Chris Herren with students from a nearby middle school

Herren, a high school All-American at B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, was considered among the best high school players of his era and was recruited by many of the major college basketball programs in the country. While realizing his dream of playing professional basketball, Herren (who played for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics) was also battling addiction, which ultimately ended his professional basketball career.

Alcohol and drug-free since 2008, Herren has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else. He has since dedicated much of his time to sharing his story with people across the country in hopes of influencing young people to make positive decisions. Herren has since appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated magazines, published a highly acclaimed book, “Fall River Dreams,” and was the subject of the Emmy-nominated documentary “Unguarded.”

The Port Washington Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force, in conjunction with the Port Washington School District, invites the community to be a part of Herren’s inspiring presentation. Admission is free and seating is plentiful.

“Chris Herren’s rise, fall and rebound can serve as an inspiration to us all,” said Stephanie Joannon, Port Washington director of physical education, health and athletics, who also co-chairs the Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force. “Young people face so many challenges, including peer pressure. It’s important to provide them with true-to-life moments that will stay with them and help them make the right choices in life.”

Earlier in the day, Herren will conduct a special assembly for all Port Washington School District students in grades 8-12.

“The Safety and Substance Abuse Task Force has brought another valuable program to our community for the benefit of our children,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Mooney. “While young people can be impressionable, they have also shown us that they can make smart life decisions when presented with the facts. Mr. Herren’s testimony can help guide them on that path.”

For more information, please contact Ms. Joannon at sjoannon@portnet.org.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Port Washington News, special features including the Business Quarterly column, Manhasset Magazine, Pride In Port, Port Washington News, Port Gift Guide and other special sections. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community newspaper" several years in a row.

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