Basketball great Rex Chapman brought to Evansville discussing drug addiction

Basketball great Rex Chapman brought to Evansville discussing drug addiction

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A personal story of recovery from drug addiction.

Former UK basketball star and Owensboro Native Rex Chapman was at USI Tuesday night talking about his road to recovery.

"I feel fortunate, though, to be here and talk about it because really I probably shouldn't be here," Rex Chapman said.

The Apollo High School graduate says he's been sober now for nearly four years.

"I had it easy for an awfully long time," Chapman smiled.

But, his 15 year drug battle has been anything but a breeze.

"It's a constant battle for me, but I've learned over time what I need to do to deal with things, day to day," Chapman explained.

Chapman found himself on slippery slope, filled with legal trouble, and what he calls downward decisions and perhaps worst of all, addicted to prescription pain pills after numerous surgeries and years in the NBA.

"There comes a point where you stop taking them and they start telling you when to take them," Chapman recalled.

Chapman was brought to Evansville on USI's campus by the group "7 sisters" for a free event discussing his addiction.

They're a support group of seven local sisters who have each lost a sibling due to an opioid related death.

"You have to find someone you trust and you have to listen and if you have people in your life that you trust and you love that are telling you 'hey man, you're screwing up,' think about it and at some point you have to bit a bit honest with yourself," Chapman told 14 News.

With what he describes as an equal opportunity obstacle.

"It's not biased by race or money or poverty or education or anything else," Chapman described.

And, although he realizes rehab is not a realistic option for everyone, but he says, he is proof that people can change.

"Once you're there, you're there, and you've got to do your best to get out of it," Chapman recalled.

Chapman says he's living in Lexington now.

A few familiar faces were in the crowd.

Newly named UE men's basketball coach Walter McCarty and County Prosecutor Nick Hermann were both in attendance.

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