The latest film in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is set to air next Tuesday, October 23rd. Benji delves into the untimely death of high school basketball phenom Ben Wilson. Wilson hailed from Chicago’s Southside. The Simeon High School student was only seventeen years old in 1984, and was the country’s most promising young basketball prospect. He was everything that was good about Chicago. He was just a good young man and was the first high school player in the city’s history to be ranked number one. But the day before his senior season, Wilson was gunned down.
A number of NBA players have worn Wilson’s number 25 on their jerseys in his memory since his murder, including: Derrick Rose, Juwan Howard, and Nick Anderson. Even current top ranked player and Simeon High School standout Jabari Parker has Wilson’s number stitched into his team sneakers. Coodie Simmons co-directs the upcoming film. He said of it, “Ben’s death brought such grief to Chicago when it happened and it is sad to see that gang violence there is as bad as it was back in the 1980’s.” He expanded on his sentiment saying, “All filmmakers hope that their film can have a powerful impact on people and maybe sharing Ben’s story can shed some much needed light on this epidemic.”
Benji airs on ESPN/ESPN HD next Tuesday night, October 23rd at 8pm EST and is being presented by Buick Verano. It was a selection at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival. The final pieces in this line of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series are: Ghosts of Ole Miss and You Don’t Know Bo. Ghosts of Ole Miss will air Tuesday, October 30th at 8pm EST. You Don’t Know Bo will air Saturday, December 8th at 9pm EST. Each film in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series will be available on iTunes and Amazon the day after each special airs. To get all the latest updates on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, audiences can go online to http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://twitter.com/30for30.
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