Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

November 2, 2013

Former NBA player Chad Varga speaks at area schools

(Continued)

By the time he began telling stories of his childhood, his dynamic presence had already captivated the attention of everyone in the room. Varga grew up in a broken home in Detroit. His mother was a violent alcoholic and drug abuser, but despite her addictions, when Chad’s parents divorced, she was given custody of him and his older sister, Wendy.

Varga shared some of the terrible instances of abuse he experienced from a young age. As a toddler, Varga remembers being given cups with alcohol and juice to keep him quiet and out of the way while his mother partied with her friends. He remembers being dragged out of bed at two in the morning by the hair to ride along with his mother to get drugs. Sometimes she would leave Chad and his sister in the floorboard of the car, sometimes locked them in the trunk and sometimes, took them inside with her- experiences he remembers with horror to this day.

At 13 years old, when schools were beginning to cautions students about the dangers of drug use, Varga needed no convincing. Seeing his mother, who had been sober for months, relapsed and passed out on the couch was more than enough reason for him to never touch drugs or alcohol, as were the years of substance abuse he’d already witnessed.

At 14, he attempted to stop an abusive boyfriend from beating his mother and received a thorough thrashing himself, leaving him with two cracked ribs, numerous cuts and bruises and scars that linger to this day. That was a low point for Chad and he even considered suicide to escape his troubled life.

In bed that night, Varga said he realized that he didn’t want to be what everyone else said he would be. He didn’t want to be worthless and without a future. Right then, he decided he was going to do whatever he had to do to be successful.

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