We may never win the war on drugs but we have learned that times have changed from the days of “Just Say No” as the battle cry to keep teenagers from experimenting with recreational drugs. 

That may have sounded okay when spoken by Nancy Reagan during her husband’s presidency but today’s young people would probably not take those words very seriously.  However based on everything I have heard and seen students and adults are likely to have a very different feeling after hearing Chris Herren tell his story Wednesday night at the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North.




Herren’s story is about a basketball player from Fall River, Massachusetts who made it to the top, getting to play in the NBA with his hometown Celtics.  But while he could beat his man off the dribble time and time again he could not beat his addiction to drugs and it cost him his career and almost everything else.

Herren eventually triumphed over his drug addiction and many became aware of him several months ago when ESPN first showed the documentary “Unguarded” which chronicles his life on and off the court and was recently nominated for two sports Emmys including ”Outstanding Sports Documentary.”

The 36-year old has been drug-free for almost four years and Wednesday night he will tell his inspiring story followed by a question and answer session open to the public at the Pine Belt Arena beginning at 7pm.  He will also sign copies of his book, “Basketball Junkie: A Memoir” which was published a little less than a year ago.

Herren, who is a married father of three has appeared in the shore area before and wowed those in attendance with his story and talks about making good choices and how it’s never too late to follow your dreams.  His appearance tomorrow night is aimed at students from grade 7 up, parents and concerned members of the community…on Thursday he will speak to all of the juniors in the school district.

Parents of school-age children are constantly seeking guidance when it comes to dealing with obstacles that face teen-agers today…rarely do you get the chance to hear a first-hand account like what is available tomorrow night for free.  Make the most of it.