Hinsdale HS coach rebounded from addiction to mentor students

CHICAGO (WLS) -- You could say Alvie Shepherd used to have it all. After graduating from Proviso West High School and finishing college, he got the call of a lifetime.

"I got drafted to the Baltimore Orioles in the first round," he recalled.

He played three seasons with the Orioles minor league team in the mid-90s before hurting his shoulder twice. He had to retire at 24-years-old. Things got worse from there.

"I made some poor lifestyle decisions for a while after ball," Shepherd said.

His injury led him into a deep depression. He started drinking heavily and ballooned to over 300 lbs. Then, he suffered another blow.

"I ended up having a brain aneurism, it ruptured," he said.

It could have been deadly, but Shepherd got a second chance. When he woke up from surgery, he had a whole new outlook on life.

These days you'll find Shepherd at Hinsdale Central High School. He started coaching the baseball team, and now the freshman quarterback. They are learning a bit from him, too.

"I wasn't really sure I wanted to play quarterback, if I could, and he just kinda talked me through it and made me more positive," said Michael Brescia, HCHS freshman.

It wasn't just his mentality that changed. Shepherd is now in the best physical shape of his life, and credits his health and happiness to his wife and two children.

It was a rocky road, but Shepherd said he realizes now to never give up. He hopes to pass that life lesson to his students.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect Mr. Shepherd's baseball career
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