Former University of Kentucky basketball player comes to BCHS, leaves message of hope

Visiting schools across the United States is something Rex Chapman has done since his retirement. Speaking on his successful career as a University of Kentucky basketball player, and NBA player along with his experience with opioids, Chapman made his way to Barren County High School.

Sports Illustrated
Rex Chapman is a former University of Kentucky and NBA player. He is now in retirement and travels to speak to students across the United States. (Sports Illustrated).

BCHS Principal Brad Johnson led Chapman through the school Tuesday showing him the newest addition since his visit last year. The two stopped at the Trojan Quick Stop store, a store designed to create a welcoming environment for students who want or need supplies, clothes, food, and beverages.

“It’s my pride and joy,” Johnson said.

Johnson explained the importance of the store’s implementation in the school and described its daily uses.

“Students can come here in between classes or anytime in the day,” Johnson said. “Someone is always here.”

Chapman was impressed by the store as it compares to what his campaign’s priorities are: unity and helping others. Chapman told The Trojan Times that he remembers students, including himself, that could have benefitted from an idea like the Trojan Store.

“I can’t tell you how many days I would have been in there where I’d left my coat at home and it’s cold — it’s winter time — I would have taken advantage of it,” Chapman said. “I had friends that ate once a day, and that was lunch at school; they got home there was nothing — the next morning, there was nothing.”

Chapman said he had been to many schools, but had never “seen something like this.”

“It helps people in a way that me playing basketball can’t,” Chapman said. “It’s a big thing.”

Chapman said he was addicted to opioids for 12 years, ultimately leading to a brief period where he was at a “low point.” He now uses this downfall to share a message of hope to students.

“It’s not my favorite thing to do, speaking on opioids, but it would be cowardly of me [not to.]”

Chapman said he also wants to leave youth with a message of happiness and encouragement.

“I try to impress upon kids in this area to get out, travel as much as you can, see the world, see the other states,” Chapman said. “I remember what it was like being in high school — it’s tough.”