MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (News10)-A former NBA basketball star who’s in lifelong recovery for opioid addiction is sharing his story to area young people and their families.

At moments that were raw and gripping, Chris Herren, shared his story to an audience of Mechanicville junior and high school students listening to how Herren went from soaring among the stars of basketball to his decent into opioid addiction. “We show you pictures of drug addicts. Remind you of family members and say, “Look how horrible life turned out for them in the end.’ Instead of, sitting you down, looking you in the eye and asking you honestly at this age, ‘Why are you taking a chance on letting it begin for you?’” said Herren.

In the 1990’s the Massachusetts native was a first-round draft pick, ultimately playing for the Nuggets and the Celtics. But then, he started making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The disease of addiction to painkillers and ultimately heroin had taken over. At his darkest moments he contemplated suicide. It would take several tries at rehab, but Herren finally got clean.

Since 2009 he has spoken to more than one million students and community members. It was Mechanicville Jr./Sr. High School Principal Mike Mitchell who invited Herren to speak to his students. “Kids Anxiety and depression, and some of the ways they are coping with it is not appropriate. We are trying to be on the forefront to provide that support. Those appropriate coping mechanisms. And it starts with people like Chris Herren and his message today. Not only to our students, but to our entire community today” said Mitchell.

Herren’s recovery journey has been documented in a bestselling memoir, and an ESPN Films documentary. In 2011 he started his own wellness center. “The city of Mechanicville students, parents and families are a very tight knit community and I want this message to be really widespread,” he added.

The entire Mechanicville community is invited to hear Herren speak again tonight January 12th at 7pm at the Mechanicville Junior-Senior High School. A free pizza dinner is being offered in the cafeteria at 6:15 before the talk.