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Tom Ruth Speaker Series: The Hill Welcomes Chris Herren

On Wednesday, October 11, 2023, The Hill School welcomed Chris Herren to campus. A former NBA basketball player, Chris now serves as a wellness advocate and speaker on the topic of substance use prevention. This special event was made possible by The Tom Ruth Speaker Series in partnership with the Counseling Center and Students Advocating for Mental Health (SAMH).

“I share my story to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” Herren said.

He shared his journey on how he went from being a promising high school basketball star to earning a scholarship to play for Boston College, and later transferring to Fresno State, where he continued to excel on the court. However, his career took a turn when he began to battle with substance use disorder.

Despite being expelled from Fresno State, he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and later traded to the Boston Celtics. He continued to struggle with alcohol and drug addiction and his NBA career was cut short when he was released from the Celtics.

Herren has been sober for 15 years, and through his nonprofit organization, The Herren Project, he travels to schools and communities across the country, sharing his story and connecting with young people on a personal level.

“My goal is for one kid to walk out of here and say ‘I should be better than I am not. I should 100% feel better about myself,’” Herren remarked.

He encouraged Hill students to support and challenge one another and to speak up when one of their friends might be suffering from alcohol and drug addiction so they don’t struggle alone.

Read more about Chris Herren and his important work in substance abuse prevention:

Herren Talks | https://herrentalks.com/

Herren Project | https://herrenproject.org/about/

Herren Wellness | https://herrenwellness.com/