Saturday Night at the Movies


July 11, 2020 at 9:00pm.
Screening the film, The First Day: A Focus on the Beginning.
Presented on In The Rooms by REEL Recovery Film Festival

July 8, 2020 –The Virtual REEL Recovery Film Festival in association with In The Rooms is pleased to present this month’s Saturday Night at the Movies film of the month.

Chris Herren: The First Day.

At times it may have seemed that Herren’s basketball career was notable more for his failed drug tests, run-ins with the police and seemingly unearned media hype.  But sometimes one’s true calling is revealed only through hardship and tests of strength and endurance. 

Herren was tested both on and off the court.  Born into a family of basketball players which included his father, grandfather, brother and three uncles. Chris finished Durfee High having scored the most points the school’s history and was featured in multiple magazines and newspapers, including the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone and SI.

That kind of pressure can make or break a player and Herren soon enough tested positive for pot and coke before he first stepped onto the free-throw line at Boston College.

Drug use and abuse followed Herren to Fresno State, and into the NBA where he played point guard for the Denver Nuggets and then Boston Celtics, where he started using prescription painkillers. After being picked up for heroin possession and a subsequent overdose, Herren has been clean and sober since August 1, 2008.

In that time he has used his experience, strength and hope to speak to athletes, students and parents about the brutal reality of drug abuse.  In The First Day, he encourages students to speak out about their experiences, trauma, fears and the day-to-day stressors of life.  In contrast to most documentaries and films about addiction, which focus on the often severe consequences of long term substance abuse; “the worst day”. This film asks the viewer to go back to the beginning and think about “The First Day”.  To think about the factors and circumstances that lead a person to take that first hit or drink.

Today, Chris Herren is known not for his fall from grace, but for the grace and dignity with which he shares his message of hope and recovery.