I have written several post about Ben "Benji" Wilson here on ChicagoNow.But I'm very happy to write this one. I was contacted by a writer who was working with the producers of a documentary on the life of Ben Wilson. The documentary was being created for ESPN films and they wanted more information on the Chatham community.
17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago and the Chatham community: a sweet-natured youngster from the city's fabled South Side, and America's top high school basketball prospect. Nicknamed "Magic Johnson with a jump shot," Wilson's natural talents and drive assured his best years were yet to come. Wilson went to Simeon and was tragically killed in November 1984 the day before his senior season began;the outpouring of grief city-wide was unprecedented.
While I understand this ESPN produced this documentary for television I feel that it needs to be shown on the big screen. I feel that all high school students and athletes especially basketball players need to see this film. They need to understand that the senseless violence must stop and the hurt of this violence affects more than the person it is afflicted on but it hurts family,friends, team mates, communities, etc. Also, the timing of this movie is amazing as in 1984, the consensus #1 high school basketball player again is a Simeon student and the courts he made Cole Park has hosted the #1 college and high school player.