Basketball Junkie

A Memoir by Chris Herren and Bill Reynolds

Fall River Dreams meets The Basketball Diaries in this gripping, provocative account of one athlete’s journey from high school glory to hell and back.


At Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, Chris Herren carried the weight of a declining mill town’s hopes in his hands. In a town rich with basketball history, the charismatic guard broke scoring records, was courted by top colleges, featured in Sports Illustrated, and became the focus of an acclaimed book, Fall River Dreams.

Herren’s youthful legend concealed a darker side, and his dream soon became a nightmare of drug addiction—first alcohol, then cocaine, finally heroin. A chaotic college career (capped by a feature article in Rolling Stone and a 60 Minutes piece) led to the NBA, and when the Boston Celtics acquired his contract, he realized every New England kid’s dream.

But off the court, Herren was spiraling down and out. Married with three young children and desperate for money to feed the hunger that consumed his career and life, he hit bottom when he was found in Fall River, near death over the wheel of his car, a bag of heroin on the passenger seat. Sober since 2008, the one-time star has rejoined his family, and now mentors young players and speaks to high schools, colleges, and organizations about his experiences.

Dramatic, honest, and affecting, Basketball Junkie is harrowing in Chris Herren’s descent, and heartening in his return.