The BV/News Nov 16, 2001

Bonnie speaks about drugs

By Kelly Zientek
Staff Writer

Introducing himself as a "grateful recovering addict," Glenn Hagan, a former Bonnies basketball star, got personal about his battle with drug addiction in a speech Tuesday night in the Trustees" Room in Doyle Hall.

"I was lost in a world filled with drugs and everything that went with it," Hagan said. His message stressed the importance of avoiding drugs. He begged his audience, "don't travel the road I traveled, you do not win."

Hagan's speech was co-sponsored by the Campus Activity Board and the Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Hagan, '78, joked with the basketball players who sat in the front row near the former star. "I'm too quick for all you," he said. "You guys are safe, I can't come back."

More seriously he revealed how his arrogant attitude, which had served him so well on the court, had gotten him kicked out of five of the nine rehabilitation centers in the nine years he has been fighting his addiction.

Speaking fondly of his days at St. Bonaventure, he said, "I didn't realize how much I appreciated this place until I left. Those were the best days of my life."

After St. Bonaventure, Hagan played in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and later for the Detroit Pistons. However, after basketball, his drug addiction destroyed his former glory. "I blew every single dime," he said.

He spent a year-and-a-half as a homeless man. Recalling this time, he said, "You have friends but they don't trust you because you don't trust yourself." He regrets the time he missed with his children "I lost years of my life I can never get back," he said.

Now, Hagan spends his days interviewing for jobs and finding ways to keep his mind occupied. He has been unsuccessful in his attempts to find a job.

"Boy, have I made a mess of my life," he said.

Still trying to recover from his addiction, Hagan commented on his new lifestyle, "I won't go to a club, I won't drink, and if you drink, I'll leave because I'm still too weak."

Hagan said he turned to God at the lowest point in his life. Shortly after this turning point, he lost his mother, godmother and mentor within a few months of each other.

"I thought God was punishing me," he said. "I thought people owed me."

But he said he made peace with his anger when he realized "everything's not fair in life."

Hagan said he quit using drugs because he, "got tired of looking at myself how I was, that would make you quit, wouldn't it?"

Although it was difficult for him to return to St. Bonaventure to deliver his speech, he said, "I didn't just do it for me. I did it for you guys, that maybe it would touch you. There's not a lot I can give you besides my story."

While playing basketball at St. Bonaventure, Hagan set the career assist record with 486, which ranks second today. His 1,396 points scored ranks 15th all-time, and he ranks seventh in career steals.