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Basketball Junkie: A Memoir Paperback – May 8, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Chris Herren's "Basketball Junkie" is the story of what happens when a town and a family pressure a favorite son to embody their dreams, which turn out to be his nightmare. If a book can be both anguished and celebratory, this is it. Herren's account of his descent into hell and back show that beyond the bench pressing and the sprints and all the other prep work that help to create an athlete, in the end, character-building is the one drill that really matters."--Madeleine Blais, "New York Times" bestselling author of "In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle"
"What a story. If you read a sports book - no, any book - that sticks in your head longer than "Basketball Junkie" this year please let me know. This was a walk down a long, dark street to places that most of us have never been. Who knew there was a regulation basketball court in the ninth circle of hell? Fascinating."--Leigh Montville, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Ted Williams" and "Evel: The High Flying Life of,
More About the Author
Herren's basketball dreams began as a 6'2" guard at Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts. A member of the Durfee High School team chronicled in Bill Reynold's book, Fall River Dreams, Herren excelled on the basketball court becoming one of the top Division 1 prospects in the country.
Herren's basketball success concealed a darker side, and his dream soon became a nightmare of addiction--first alcohol, then cocaine, finally heroin. A chaotic and often uncertain college career plagued by drugs and rehab led to the NBA.
In 1999 he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the NBA Draft as the 33rd pick overall. After a year with the Nuggets, Chris was traded to the Boston Celtics where he suffered a season ending injury.
Trying to work his way back to the NBA, Herren played overseas until 2003 when he came back to the States. His alcohol and drug use escalated until he was found unconscious with a heroin needle hanging from his arm in the driver's seat of his car.
After extensive rehabilitation stays, Chris has been drug-free since June 4, 2008, and alcohol-free since August 1, 2008. Herren has refocused his life and dreams to put his sobriety and family above all else.
In June of 2009, Chris launched a basketball player development company, Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Inc. Off the court he continues to share his story with audiences in the hopes of reaching just one person and making a difference in their life.
Top Customer Reviews
This memoir follows Herren from his well-documented time as a high school basketball star to his college and professional playing days in the NBA as well as overseas. This provides a glimpse into what the life of a college and professional athlete can be like underneath all of the perks. Although Herren never lets himself off the hook for his misdeeds, at times he does seem to be an apologist for others such as Jerry Tarkanian, who depending on your point of view is either Sports' Spawn of Satan or a man who believed in second chances.
In this book more than any other similar tome that I've read recently, I got the sense that this was a story that Herren absolutely had to tell, though he is so incredibly upfront about his various misdeeds that I almost suspect he may be punishing himself for his past transgressions. It has a feel of atonement. He makes no excuses; he blames no one other than himself. I admire that. And while I was concerned at first that this might be another case of an athlete staying sober for a month and calling it a recovery, by the end of the story it seems clear to me that after two years in recovery, Herren has all the tools in place to make it.
The overall message of this book is not just "hey kids, don't do drugs".Read more ›
Seventeen years after Herren reached stardom, this memoir recounts how his demons became the center of his life. He achieved the heights of stardom, playing under Jerry Tarkanian before the NBA draft. His paychecks soared so high that he lost more in one card game than I make per year. But everything paled for Herren beside his hunger for the next fix. Piece by piece, he lost everything that mattered.
Herren's brutal honesty regarding his long string of bad choices recreates his horrific experience. As he repeatedly makes bad bets and pins his hopes on false promises, we feel life's weight mounting as relentlessly as Herren must have. And when he finally hits rock bottom, sees everything he still stands to lose, and chooses to pull his life back together, we feel the same weight lifted off our own shoulders.
Unfortunately, we can see Herren's lack of experience in writing. Reynolds' prologue says that Herren seldom read in high school, and this book suggests he hasn't remedied that much since.
For instance, consider the really short paragraphs.
The f***ing language gets distracting.
He makes "you" the center of many of his anecdotes, like he's deflecting.
And all his rhetorical questions?
Don't even get me started.Read more ›
The book didn't disappoint as Herren and Reynolds are excellent storytellers.
Herren emerged as the local star after replacing his brother as the family standout. He gained national attention from major college programs while becoming a superstar in high school and on AAU squads competing at the national level.
During all of this success he was doing drugs, drinking, failing classes and disrespecting any adult in his life including his parents and his coaches. This leads to the downward spiral he would exist in for the remainder of his basketball career.
I don't want to go into too much detail as the book is worth reading for yourself, but I was amazed at how much his teams, coaches and schools would put up with just because he was a star athlete. I was also amazed at the fact that he could play and function on the basketball court while being high or drunk.
I couldn't relate to that side of his story but I did relate with his reflections on the basketball side of things. His description of his hatred for losing and how his body would be tormented in any way possible in order to avoid the feeling of losing was something I too went through in high school. In fact, my body is a mess now and I regret living that way. He described how his teammates tolerated him but probably didn't really like playing with him in high school, and I am certain that was probably the feeling that my teammates had towards me.
This book isn't uplifting or encouraging by any means.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chris Herren came to my school and talked about drug abuse and how it could change your world. It could make the difference between making millions to making nothing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kristin Connors
waste of my time and money. Only bought it for school or else i never wouldn't bothered. I couldn't even finish it.Published 6 months ago by carley kelley
I saw Chris Herrens story last weekend on ESPN. A documentary called Unguarded. He sure could tell a story, his story and I didn't move from the TV for 2 hours. Read morePublished 7 months ago by fonda bromeland
Chris Herren gives a brutally honest account of his spiral into drug and alcohol addiction. He never asks for us to understand or forgive, just wanted the story to be heard with... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Robin L. Frost
Identifying l also played semi pro basketball in Puerto Rican league. I played for ten years and like Crist I also wore blinders. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dragon53