Former NBA star & recovering opioid addict Chris Herren speaking at Kearny High next week

Former NBA player Chris Herren, who played for both the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics, only to have his career derailed by addiction, will speak exclusively for residents of Kearny (and privately for KHS students) at a special talk Oct. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kearny High School auditorium.

The Fall River, Massachusetts, native was a high school All American who broke all kinds of scoring records. After playing collegiately, the Denver Nuggets drafted him in 1999.

But after losing his career, he nearly lost his life because of his addiction.

It was the year after his rookie campaign, in Beantown, when Herren reportedly began to use drugs — including Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin among others — but he fortunately got help.

And now, he’s been clean and sober since Aug. 1, 2008, and he’s spoken to more than a million students across the continent through frank discussions and as he strives to be a positive force in all of the kids’ lives. In 2011, ESPN produced and aired a documentary, “Unguarded,” which is based on Herren’s life.

The event is open to the public and no registration is required. Enter via the main doors at 336 Devon St. Read more about Herren at

View a clip of “Unguarded” below.


Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.