A Sobering Perspective

Chris Herren of Fall River, Mass., dreamed of playing basketball for his hometown team, the Boston Celtics. And he did—until a drug habit stole all his dreams.

URI student-athletes listened as Herren, who is now sober and travels the country warning students not to make his mistakes, told of his aspirations as a Division 1 college athlete at Boston College and Fresno State University. Then someone offered him drugs.

“That girl brought up insecurities that I didn’t even know I had,” Herren said. So he said yes. At the time, the moment seemed insignificant; but, he told the crowd, its consequences altered the course of his life. Herren’s struggles resonated with many. After the talk, women’s volleyball team member Layne Self reflected: “When Chris asked the crowd, ‘Why aren’t you comfortable being you?’ it really hit home because I think that’s something a lot of college kids struggle with.”

—Franki Darnold ’16