By now many have seen “Unguarded,” the “30 for 30” feature on the life of former professional basketball player Chris Herren. Herren, who was a McDonald’s All-American from Fall River, Massachusetts, struggled with addiction for year before finally taking the steps needed to gain (and just as importantly, maintain) sobriety. Herren’s been sober for just over six years now, and he’s toured the country telling his story to groups of children and adults.
Recently Herren’s travels took him to Roxbury, Massachusetts, and it’s there where The Heights (Boston College’s school newspaper) sportswriter Connor Mellas caught up with him. The two discussed Herren’s short time at Boston College, where he arrived as a highly-regarded point guard expected to lead Jim O’Brien’s program and (along with the likes of UConn’s Ray Allen and St. John’s Felipe Lopez) help break the Big East out of the malaise it found itself in during the early 1990’s.
However it wasn’t meant to be, as a broken wrist suffered in his college debut changed the path of his career in Chestnut Hill.
The Heights: Other than breaking your wrist, what do you remember from that first game, that single game?
Herren: You know, it was a blur to me. People told me the stats, but I don’t remember scoring, I don’t remember any of that stuff. Any time you come from Durfee High School, playing in front of that many people, you’re Massachusetts Player Of The Year three years, you’re a McDonald’s All American, and now it’s time to put up or shut up on the big stage—the emotions were through the roof. I remember the injury. I remember falling that night, and knowing that this was probably going to be the end of it.
The full interview, in which Herren also speaks fondly of late Boston College SID Dick Kelley, can be read here.