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Editorial: Basketball Junkie

Now this may seem like a cruel headline to go with when talking about former NBA player Chris Herren, but it’s part of the title from the 2011 book he wrote with columnist Bill Reynolds called Basketball Junkie: A Memoir. It details his rise through the college and professional sports hierarchy while being in the throes of drug addiction. Herren recently came to Garden City High School, where he spoke of those dark times before students, faculty, parents and community members. The tragedy behind so many of these sad and harrowing stories was the fact that what seemed like a brief flirtation with cocaine at the time instead wound up being the catalyst for the downward spiral the Massachusetts native’s life took over the next decade and a half before finally hitting rock bottom and eventually becoming alcohol and drug-free since August 2008. By all accounts, Chris Herren’s cautionary tales seemed to strike a note during his appearance at Garden City High School. One can only hope this was the case especially given the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic that’s become more prevalent on Long Island in the past decade-plus.

—Dave Gil de Rubio