An ESPN film documenting a well-known Portsmouth resident has received two Emmy nominations, announced the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on Tuesday.
The ESPN film "Unguarded," featuring the story of former professional basketball player Chris Herren of Portsmouth, has received two Sports Emmy nominations for two categories: Outstanding Sports Documentary and Outstanding Editing.
Winners of the 33rd annual Sports Emmy awards will be honored during an April 30 ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz, at Lincoln Center.
Directed by Jonathan Hock, an eight-time Emmy Award-winning producer, director, writer and editor, "Unguarded" tells the story of Herren being "a high school basketball standout who battled the pressures of making it big from an early age," according to the ESPN film's Web site.
Herren attended Boston College before joining Jerry Tarkanian's Fresno State team. He was later drafted to the NBA, joining the Boston Celtics.
However, "Chris was falling in a 10-year-long spiral of addiction," according to the ESPN film's site.
"...Ultimately, Chris, the youngest and most talented of three generations of local heroes, has found redemption and personal fulfillment through the game, but only after it led him literally around the world, down a path of alcohol and drug addiction that nearly killed him."
"Drug-free and alcohol-free since Aug. 1, 2008, Chris has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else," according to his Hoop Dreams Web site. "He attends meetings daily to support his substance-free lifestyle and often speaks before groups trying to overcome addiction to share his experiences and road to sobriety."
In June 2009, Chris celebrated one year of sobriety and took the next step in his career to launch a basketball player development company, Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Inc. Since the summer of 2009, Chris has trained more than 200 basketball players.
Herren's been giving talks at area schools about dealing with addition, including Tiverton High School last month where one student called it "life changing."