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Basketball Junkie

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  973 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
I was dead for thirty seconds.

That's what the cop in Fall River told me.

When the EMTs found me, there was a needle in my arm and a packet of heroin in the front seat.

At basketball-crazy Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, junior guard Chris Herren carried his family's and the city's dreams on his skinny frame. His grandfather, father, and older brother had cr
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 28th 2011)
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Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Totally honest and vulnerable, Chris Herren is taking us to his hell and back. It is a memoir of struggle, addiction but he is also showing an amazing strength. It is an inspiring read that leaves us with foods for thoughts, I really loved it!!!!
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads and was excited to be able to read it.

That feeling, however, was short lived.

The underlying theme and purpose of the book had a ton of potential. Chris Herren goes through his professional basketball career as an absolute junkie, to the detriment of his family and his coaches. The book explains the timelines of events from when he started doping and drinking to when he finally decided to put his family first.

First of all, let me say, I am extr
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
A honest story of addiction and all the terror it inflicts.

Chris Herren:
"No one sets out to be an addict. No one sets out to ruin their life and the lives of all the people around them. No one sets out to see the anguish in the eyes of the people who love them. No one sets out to live the life I led. It happens over time, sure. but it also happens when you don't address your issues.......

I also tell them (kids) I was never the most fucked up kid in my circle of friends in high school, never the
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what happens to people after reading a biography? Fall River Dreams is the story of year in the life of 17 year old Chris Herren. Basketball Junkie is the answer to what happened to him after Fall River and it is much more nightmare than dream. Amazingly talented as a basketball player Chris becomes drug addicted and blows his career with drugs and alcohol. But this is a story of redemption and survival. Which is also the story of Fall River, his hometown, and another char ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: skip-it, memoir
There's a reason I don't like reading memoirs of drugs addicts. Well there 's a few reasons but mainly because I don't like the whiny tone they all have. This one is no exception. Written by a high school basketball star who actually made it to the NBA only to be brought down by his expensive all consuming drug addiciont, this story follows a predictable pattern. He wants to stop using, he stops using, he falls victim to temptation, repeat over and over. Supposedly clean since the birth of his 3 ...more
Kaio Menezes
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book on Chris Herren. I watched the documentary on it and they were both very similar. I liked this book because it was about a basketball player that gets addicted to many different drugs and goes through many different expiercences and he comes close to dying many different times but in the end he chose his family over drugs and basketball and now tries to help kids that went through the same thinf that he went through.
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am not quite so savage about this book as Barry was, but my concern for Chris Herren is that his recovery has been less than three years and that is not a long time for one so addicted as he was. We can only hope for his sake and that of his family, he can maintain his recovery. I did enjoy the descriptions of Fall River and since I love basketball, his journey was interesting.
Danielle King
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, sports
I love books involving sports, and Chris Herren's memoir was no exception. Through his book, he brings readers along his rough journey of basketball and drug addiction, from high school all the way up to the NBA. I couldn't put this book down and finished it in two days- thanks to my friend, Jackie, for recommending it to me!
Aug 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, read-2011
I read and really enjoyed Fall River Dreams: A Team's Quest for Glory, A Town's Search for Its Soul so decided to pick up this book to learn the rest of the story. A very honest look at how addictions can completely take over a life.
Josh Makarenko
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Raw and real and a crazy story. In all honest I appreciate the fact that he shared it and the work he's doing today to help others is inspiring!

Poorly written book though, and extremely hard to follow. He jumps around from place to place and you alomst feel dizzy trying to keep up. I think it could have been done amazingly well had the story been brought together with a bit more clarity. I guess that's the nature of the story and background of the addict and his life.

Still worth a read, just do
Michael Liborio
The decision to become a professional athlete and being exposed to the rich and party life can really affect the choices someone can make. In “Basketball Junkie,” by Chris Herren and Bill Reynolds, Chris Herren breaks down his terrible decisions that he made when he became a famous athlete. Chris Herren grew up in a basketball household; he played basketball because he was expected to by his family. He was never really exposed to anything else, it was almost like he was forced to play. His older ...more
Luke McCollough
"Basketball Junkie" by former Boston Celtics guard Chris Herren is one of the best sports books I have read, if not the best overall book I have ever read. Herren is telling his story as one of the best basketball players to come out of Fall River, Massachusetts. Herren does an amazing job of portraying the highs and lows of his life on and off the basketball court. The majority of the book is about his ongoing drug addiction in the younger years of his life. The way I felt while reading was unl ...more
Chris Fenaroli
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Basketball Junkie by Chris Herren gives you a frightening example of how detrimental drugs are to the users life. Chris Herren grew up in Fall River, a small working class town in Massachusetts, close to Boston, where basketball was the only thing that mattered. His family pressures him a lot, and he manages to exceed all their expectations. While he is great at basketball, he doesn’t enjoy it, the pressure and intensity ruined it. He and his friends soon entered the world of drugs, and from the ...more
Grant Martignetti
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Basketball Junkie”

“Basketball Junkie” is a memoir written by a professional basketball star Chris Herren. It follows the life of a young kid who attends Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts. Like all high school basketball players dreams, he wanted to be the best and be recruited to a top level college and then continue his career in the NBA. Not only that, but Chris was a top recruit who was selected as a McDonald’s all American and chose to be a hometown hero and committed to play
Meghan R
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Over the course of the term I read Basketball Junkie by Chris Herren and Bill Reynolds. The Theme of his book I think would be to think about the consequences of drugs and alcohol before you make any decisions. An overall summary of Basketball Junkie is Chris Herren’s story about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. Chris was an amazing basketball playing and ended up not being able to play because of drugs and alcohol. He grew up in Fall River Massachusetts, attended Durfee high school, attend ...more
Eric  Looby
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Predict: When I predicted what this book was going to be about I was completely wrong. I began reading and it started out with Chris Herren, the main character, explaining his childhood. I had no idea it would turn from a high-school kid pressured to playing basketball since he was 3 to a full blown heroin addict. “You’re a junkie.” (Herren 185).

Preview: Before I read the book I looked at the title the pictures and the reviews on the back to get an idea on what the story might be about. I've not
Lianna Natola
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Basketball Junkie is the uncensored story of basketball star Chris Herren’s career and addiction. It is the tell-all autobiography from the person who experienced it himself. Herren details his experiences with his hope to inspire his readers to not go down the same path that he did.
As a freshman at Durfee High School in Fall River, Massachusetts, Chris Herren had always lived in the shadows of his father and brother, two basketball legends at Durfee. When he stepped onto the court, everybody
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"I was dead for thirty seconds."

That is how the book starts off. Immediately, I was hooked, wanting to know more. In the book Basketball Junkie: A Memoir by Chris Herren, Herren writes about his tremendous success as a basketball prodigy with a bright future. However, he lived a dark, double life that lead to a downfall that eventually spirals out of his control. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, Herren had been in the public eye since he could remember. Being a star basketball player since the
Andreea Daia
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.

Excellent, if chilling, testimony of the devastating consequences of drug abuse, not only on users but on everyone around them too. I really loved reading this momoir, its honesty, its sense of hope (even if this was sometimes deeply hiden under layers of psychosis, depression, or sense of
**I received this book through Good Reads First Reads**

I've given most of the memoirs that I have read lately bad reviews. One in particular I gave a bad review to because the author "name dropped" throughout the entire book. So did Chris Herren, but I'm a big NBA fan and in particular a big Denver Nuggets fan, so I loved the name dropping! I remember when Chris Herren was with the Nuggets, which made this book a little more interesting for me.

I appreciated his experience with addiction. I knew
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Not the greatest book in the world, but an easy, fast read to pass the time peppered with a few insightful thought-provoking revelations.
Very candid - took a lot of courage for the author to be so honest. And if his experiences help just one person, it's worth it IMHO. A new concept for me: maybe it's more therapeutic for the writer to write than it is for the reader to read. Maybe it's not about us.

"I was in the NBA, I was about to make nearly half a million dollars in my second year, I was ma
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book should be on all local high school summer reading lists! I would like for all of my kids to read it. This is an honest look at how a VERY talented kid went down all the wrong roads, knew he was in trouble, but just couldn't get out of the spiral he was in. In fact, the more successful he was financially, the easier it was for him to get deeper and deeper into the harsh world of addiction. I missed Chris Herren's presentation in Medway, so I was excited to find this book at a local book ...more
Sarah Carney
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
When life is low and you have absolutely nothing left, it takes time to be able to stand back up on your feet. In Basketball Junkie, Chris Herren, a superb basketball player, goes on the trail of drugs and loses everything before he can try to reclaim all that he lost. I gave this novel 4 stars due to the inspiring and realistic story and additional information. Nothing is left out in this book which helps you to completely visualize the novel. I didn't give it 5 stars due to the harsh language ...more
LC Piper
Apr 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Home Town Basketball fans who don't mind reading profanity and drug use.
I like to point out the good things first, because quite frankly, reguardless to how bad a book may be, it's still a book and that takes time, effort and is worth of recognition.
The writing in Basketball Junkie is fine. It's easy to read, the sentance structure is smooth.
I had difficulty with the story due to the profanity. I don't mind too much at the occation speed bump in my reading, but it was too often for me. The story starts right off with drug use which really turned me off. So essential
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a basketball player, anything with that sport on a cover attracts my attention. The book "Basketball Junkie: A Memoir" was a rough one to go through, but it was worth it. The story is about a kid, Chris, making it to the NBA, achieving his childhood dream. However, throughout the years his career crumbled apart as he got used to drugs and alcohol. "I knew that they were going to be all right. We all were going to be all right." This quote gave me the idea of how hard it was to cross that b ...more
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you've ever wondered why someone becomes a junkie or continuously throws positives of their lives away, this is a book for you to gain insight into one particular case. There is a universal bottoming of cheating, stealing and lying which comes through and how Chris's addiction becomes the most important focus of his life. His recovery and the chance at life he has now gives hope to anyone that may be struggling.

Functionally, the transitions within this book chapters could have been smoother,
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Great story, but a sad story. What I liked most about it was that is paints a clear picture of youth athletics….not the way we want them to be or pretend they are, but reality. In reality, it's like Chris says…a bunch of parents place too much pressure on their kids. I agree with Chris…it doesn't matter how many points a kid scores. It's about whether the kid is smiling and having fun. He wasn't and no one noticed. His story kind of illustrates what happens when all the hopes and dreams of paren ...more
Scott Bocchio
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Most people are probably familiar with Chris due to being the subject of the ESPN 30 for 30: Unguarded. This book basically covers the same events but with more detail. For those unfamiliar with Chris, he was a professional basketball player who fell out from the NBA due to his repeated drug use, similar to former NFL QB Todd Marinovich. This book chronicles it all, from his basketball beginnings in an old factory town to his emergence as a star at Fresno State to being pronounced dead for 30 se ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Knowing nothing about basketball, the city of Fall River, MA, or the machinations of professional sports I picked up this book. Chris Herren was the golden boy. A legacy basketball player in Fall River with a Dad and an older brother who excelled at high school basketball. The family pressure to succeed combined with an incredible natural talent lead Herren eventually to the ultimate New England boys dream; to play for the Boston Celtics. An ongoing struggle with alcohol, cocaine, and opiates fi ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: basketball
I remember watching Chris Herren in the McDonald's All-American game. To be honest, white guys always stuck out to me in those kinds of all-star situations. I also remember seeing stuff about him in that documentary about Fresno State. He definitely was a talented player and I knew he had trouble with drugs, but I had no idea about his spiral to rock bottom.

This book is a very honest look at the life of a young super star basketball player (by that player, now in his mid 30s) who slowly slipped
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Chris Herren is a former NBA basketball player for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics. His company, Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Inc., provides basketball training for young players as well as educational talks. He lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
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“When I got Traded To The Celtics, I was so Happy Because I was Back home And Had Grown Up Idolizing The Celtics” 1 likes
“I was dead for 30 seconds” 1 likes
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