Herren 'making amends' in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

"Things went bad for me after I jumped into harder drugs when I was 18 years old at Boston College with cocaine and stuff," said Herren. "That first line of cocaine took 14 years to put behind me."

Herren's first school expelled him for failing too many drug tests. And even though Fresno State gave him a second chance, he continued his drug use. It was a decision he says prompted him, some 15 years after his playing days, to return to the Central Valley.

"That's why I'm here," Herren said. "It's kind of to make a personal amends to the city and to the school. And like I said for me it's to give back because Fresno was just amazing to me."

After college his drug use derailed a once promising NBA career. And it wasn't until after multiple failed stops in Europe that Herren found the strength to turn his life around.

"When I was told by a counselor that the best thing I could do in my life was to never contact my kids and my wife again, to just let them go, that was my bottom," said Herren. "I went to bed that night in a treatment center thinking maybe that was the best option."

Herren says writing his book, "Basketball Junkie," was more therapeutic than anything. And now three years sober, reunited with his wife and three kids, Herren makes multiple speaking appearances, warning audiences of all ages of the dangers of drugs.

"I'm blessed to be quite honest with you," said Herren. "It's a blessing that I was able to make it through. Through a lot of support, people never giving up, my family, my friends, my wife and a faith in a higher power that I could get through it, I was able to come out of it."

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