Former pro basketball player Chris Herren to speak at Chelmsford High

Fall River native to address dangers of drug use and addiction during April 23 presentations

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (April 9, 2024) – Former basketball star and current public speaker and wellness advocate Chris Herren will provide educational presentations to students in grades 8-12 at Chelmsford Public Schools on Tuesday, April 23.

“We are excited to be hosting Chris Herren for the second time, as he spoke to our school community back in June 2012,” said Peggy Gump, Coordinator of Nursing Services for Chelmsford Public Schools. “The presentation was very well received by students, staff and parents. Chris has dedicated his life to helping get the message out to adolescents about the dangers of drug use and abuse.”

A standout basketball player from Fall River who made it to Division 1 College basketball (Boston College and Fresno State) and eventually the NBA, including the Boston Celtics, Mr. Herren became an addict during his playing days and nearly lost everything.

With the unwavering support of his family and friends, Mr. Herren has been sober since Aug. 1, 2008, and he now shares his story with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Mr. Herren’s recovery journey has been documented in the bestselling memoir, Basketball Junkie, the Emmy-nominated ESPN Films documentary, Unguarded, and in countless local, national and international stories by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated, among others.

Through Herren Talks, he has had the opportunity to speak to over 1 million students and community members, sparking honest discussions about substance use disorder and wellness.

The assemblies on April 23 will be held in the Carl J. Rondina Performing Arts Center at Chelmsford High School, with one session in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Each will begin with the audience watching a 29-minute film that provides an overview of Mr. Herren’s story; it includes excerpts from “Unguarded,” along with footage and clips of him playing basketball in high school, college and the NBA.

Following the film presentation, Mr. Herren continues to share his story, picking up from the conclusion of the film and relating his journey to the students.

Speaking about experiences that have impacted his life as a teenager, athlete and speaker, Mr. Herren will touch on such topics as drinking, smoking marijuana and vaping, pill use, peer pressure, bullying and cutting.

He will also address the need for a focus on wellness and to shift how we look at the disease of addiction from the last day to the first day.

To conclude the event, Mr. Herren will field questions from the audience.

Counselors will be available for students who may need support after the presentations.

For more information about Mr. Herren and Herren Talks, visit

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit