Former NBA Player Chris Herren Shares Story of Substance Abuse at U of M, Crookston during Alcohol Awareness Week on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium; Event is free and all are welcome to attend

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The area is invited to a special presentation by former NBA player Chris Herren on Wed., Oct. 17, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Herren, who played for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics, shares the story of his struggle with substance abuse that lasted most of his basketball career. He will be available to answer questions and sign autographs following the program. The event is free and refreshments will follow the program.

The presentation by Herren will highlight Alcohol Awareness Week on the Crookston campus. Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising is excited about the opportunity to highlight Herren and his story. "We are so fortunate to host someone like Chris Herren on our campus," Tyrrell says. "This program is one no one should miss as it carries a powerful message by someone who has experienced it firsthand. There is a message for everyone in Chris's presentation."
Herren is also the subject of the Emmy Award-nominated ESPN Films documentary "Unguarded," directed by Jonathan Hock.

Anyone interested in more information about the program should contact Tyrrell at 218-281-8436 (btyrrell@umn.edu). 

Background
Chris Herren, a 6'2" guard from Fall River, Massachusetts, scored 2,073 career points while at 
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Durfee High School. A Boston Globe and Gatorade player of the year, Herren received numerous awards and honors during his high school career, including being named to the McDonald's All-American Team in 1994.

Recruited by the top Division I programs in the country, Herren chose Boston College only to break his wrist during his first collegiate game. Sidelined by his injury, Herren failed several drug tests and left Boston College. Picked up by Fresno State and legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian, Herren went on to lead the WAC and nation in assists and steals, and was named to the all-WAC first team in 1996 and 1997.

Herren was drafted in the 2nd round (4th pick, 33rd overall) of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. He played one year with the Nuggets seeing action in 45 games prior to being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2000. As a Celtic Herren had a career-high 18 points against Dallas, only to suffer a season-ending injury. After being released from the Celtics, he played basketball overseas in five countries, Italy, Poland, Turkey, China, and Iran.

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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.

In June of 2009, Herren 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.

Chris Herren's memoir, Basketball Junkie, written with Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds, was released in May of 2011. It chronicles his struggles with addiction and his journey on and off the basketball court.

Herren is also the subject of the Emmy Award-nominated ESPN Films documentary "Unguarded," directed by Jonathan Hock. The documentary--which is narrated by Herren and those closest to him--follows him as he realizes his dream to play in the NBA for the Boston Celtics, only to lose it all to addiction before rising again with a new dream.

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. To support this vision, he founded The Herren Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to families affected by addiction. 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.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Bill Tyrrell, director, athletic fundraising, 218-281-8436 (btyrrell@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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