Basketball Junkie by Chris Herren & Bill Reynolds

Basketball Junkie

By Chris Herren & Bill Reynolds

  • Publication Date: 2011-05-10
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 581 Ratings)

Book Summary

I was dead for thirty seconds.

That's what the cop in Fall River told me.

When the EMTs found me, there was a needle in my arm and a packet of heroin in the front seat.

At basketball-crazy Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, junior guard Chris Herren carried his family's and the city's dreams on his skinny frame. His grandfather, father, and older brother had created their own sports legends in a declining city; he was the last, best hope for a career beyond the shuttered mills and factories. Herren was heavily recruited by major universities, chosen as a McDonald's All-American, featured in a Sports Illustrated cover story, and at just seventeen years old became the central figure in Fall River Dreams, an acclaimed book about the 1994 Durfee team's quest for the state championship.

Leaving Fall River for college, Herren starred on Jerry Tarkanian's Fresno State Bulldogs team of talented misfits, which included future NBA players as well as future convicted felons. His gritty, tattooed, hip-hop persona drew the ire of rival fans and more national attention: Rolling Stone profiled him, 60 Minutes interviewed him, and the Denver Nuggets drafted him. When the Boston Celtics acquired his contract, he lived the dream of every Massachusetts kid—but off the court Herren was secretly crumbling, as his alcohol and drug use escalated and his life spiraled out of control.

Twenty years later, Chris Herren was married to his high-school sweetheart, the father of three young children, and a heroin junkie. His basketball career was over, consumed by addictions; he had no job, no skills, and was a sadly familiar figure to those in Fall River who remembered him as a boy, now prowling the streets he once ruled, looking for a fix. One day, for a time he cannot remember, he would die.

In his own words, Chris Herren tells how he nearly lost everything and everyone he loved, and how he found a way back to life. Powerful, honest, and dramatic, Basketball Junkie is a remarkable memoir, harrowing in its descent, and heartening in its return.

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Book Opinions

  • Inspiring

    By Bill7117
    Anyone who has been an addict (like myself) will love this book... An if your not an addict you'll love it an learn a lot about where addiction can take you.... Thank you Chris you are a hero!
  • Great Story

    By Herren fan
    This is a great book and terrific story. I watched Chris during his basketball career. Followed all the ups and downs. It is great that he made it out alive and is with his family. I wish the best for him and hopes he keeps it together for the rest of his life. Good luck Chris!!!
  • Basketball junkie

    By fhhs
    Loved this book. The beginning worried me a little bit, but finished this book in 2 days!!
  • Exemplary

    By D.C. Prime
    One of the best basketball reads of our lifetime. Definitely compliments the book Fall River Dreams to a great extent but first and foremost stands alone in its own testament and legacy, Chris Herren(the actual events and beautiful, rich basketball legacy of the individual and city he hails from). I recommend this read to anyone who ever picked up a basketball, loved the game, and had it love you back. To anyone who ever had a struggle in any sense while living in this realm. Powerful, almost hard to believe TRUE, REAL story of a warrior.
  • A hero

    By Purple Nate
    I watched Chris when I was a kid growing up, I've read both books. I am in awe of your life accomplishments! What an outstanding book.
  • Basketball junkie

    By fdfgcghc
    I never read the book but i met him very amazing journey
  • Basketball Junkie

    By Kosleep
    Touching story.
  • My Hero

    By Joerub03
    Heather, you are my hero! What an amazing woman you are! May you and Chris spend the rest of your lives blissfully happy!
  • One of the best stories i've ever read

    By @jeffreyC88
    Amazing story, couldn't stop reading once I started. Very inspirational.
  • Full disclosure

    By Milby41
    Chris is a hero! For being so open to what he was feeling. For someone like me who has lost someone to drugs, there were countless times I had to stop and let the tears flow. To let the healing begin... Thank you Chris for your open honest telling of your story. I have read Fall River Dreams too.... It offers the groundwork for this insightful read. I feel as if Chris is a part of my family now... Thank you! If you are a teacher (like I am) or a coach (like I was) this is an important read.