University School of Milwaukee welcomed former NBA player Chris Herren on Dec. 2 to speak with 8th and 9th grade students about addiction. Herren was an All-American basketball star who broke scoring records and realized his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA, but lost his career and almost his family to the disease of addiction. His recovery journey has been documented in a best-selling book, a documentary on ESPN and stories in “Sports Illustrated” and many other publications. Since 2008, Herren has spoken to nearly two million students nationwide to share his story and inspire change.
He spoke about experiences that impacted his life as a teenager, athlete, and speaker, empowering students to rethink how they look at the disease of addiction, from the last day to the first. He touched on such topics as drinking, smoking marijuana and vaping, pill use, peer pressure, bullying, and cutting. He also took questions from the audience.
Upper School and Middle School counselors were available to provide added support as needed. Herren’s visit was supported by Mel’s Charities of Ozaukee County, Bank Five Nine, Liza Drake, director of Ozaukee County Department of Human Services, the Debbie Kobiske family, and the Tyler Buczek family. Many thanks to those who supported his visit.