Hickory – NBA star Chris Herren had it all before he lost it all due to his addiction to drugs.

Watching Chris’ story about five years ago is something Hickory physician Steve Siciliano remembers vividly. “Here was a guy talking about how hard it was to get clean and how he lost everything, his career playing basketball for the Boston Celtics, and his salary of millions of dollars. He hit rock bottom and was selling his kids’ Xboxes to buy drugs. When you watch the film, you realize how difficult it is to battle addiction and how it can happen to anyone,” said Dr. Siciliano.

Chris’ story touched Dr. Siciliano and his wife who had been grappling with ways to help one of their children battling addiction. “After several injuries playing sports, our child had multiple surgeries that required pain medication. We learned later that taking narcotics before age 16 increases your risk of becoming an addict by 30 percent. After our child went to college, we realized that addiction had become a problem and as a family sought treatment. Once you have this problem, it’s a battle you have to fight every day. It’s one we are continuing to fight.”

To help inspire others and to bring Chris’ message of hope to the area, Dr. Siciliano came up with the idea to bring Chris to Hickory for a free community event, Rebound: The Chris Herren Story, scheduled for Wednesday, September 19 at 6:30pm at CVCC’s Tarlton Complex.

“Trying to describe what it’s like to be addicted is like trying to describe colors to a person who can’t see,” said Dr. Siciliano’s child. “Addiction can cause you to put everything that’s important to you to the side, you put aside your family, sports, school, your job, you name it. When I watched Chris’ story, it encouraged me that anyone can come back from that despair and misery. I think sometimes people think that addiction is only for people who live in poverty or bad neighborhoods but that isn’t the case.”

In addition to the free community lecture open to the public, Chris will be speaking to students from Hickory High and St. Stephens High School earlier in the afternoon.

“If these talks help just one child or adult, it will be worth it,” said Dr. Siciliano.
Want to attend?
Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/crosstalkhickory/).

About Chris Herren
Chris Herren, a basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts, dreamed of one day playing for his hometown team, the Boston Celtics. An All-American, Chris broke scoring records, and realized his lifelong dream of playing for the Boston Celtics. Chris lost the dream he worked so hard to achieve due to substance abuse. Alcohol and drug-free since August 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else. He shares his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in his memoir, Basketball Junkie, as well as numerous interviews throughout the Emmy nominated ESPN Films documentary Unguarded of which he is the subject. In June 2009 he launched Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren to share his story in hopes of inspiring others.