ESPN’s Latest 30 For 30 Special To Air October 23rd

Courtesy: ESPN

The latest film in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is set to air next Tuesday, October 23rdBenji 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 BoGhosts 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 and

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ESPN Airs Latest Film In 30 for 30 Series Tuesday Night

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Films

The latest installment of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series is set to air tomorrow night, October 9th, at 8pm EST.  Following the success of Broken, ESPN will next air the program, 9.799.79 follows the now matchup between track stars Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis in the Men’s 100m final at the 1988 Olympic Games.  While the matchup made news headlines around the world, the steroid scandal that followed it was just as big.  97.9 focuses on the scandal as well.  The scandal centered on what would become an increasingly large revelation about those who had taken P.E.D.’s and anabolic steroids.  Johnson himself was wrapped up in the scandal, and would lose his gold medal as a result of the investigation.  The trailer for the special can be viewed here:

Along with tomorrow night’s broadcast, will run two features related to 97.9.  One of those features will be a podcast featuring an episode of Bill Simmons’ The B.S. Report.  Malcolm Gladwell will be on the podcast.  There will also be a first-hand account of the matchup written by Grantland writer Charlie Pierce.  Pierce was on hand for the race at the games in Seoul.

97.9 was a selection in this year’s annual Toronto Film Festival.  It was directed by Daniel Gordon.  For those that can’t catch tomorrow night’s broadcast, there are four more films in the latest 30 for 30 series.  Audiences can catch There’s No Place Like Home next Tuesday, October 16th at 8pm EST.  And on the following Tuesday, October 23rd, ESPN will air Benji at 8pm EST.  ESPN will close out the month with a broadcast of Ghosts of Ole Miss on Tuesday, October 30th at 8pm EST.  The last film in this series will be You Don’t Know Bo.  Fans can catch this piece Saturday, December 8th at 9pm.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at