Basketball fans know the names Marcus Liberty, Nick Anderson, Derrick Rose and the 2012-13 consensus #1 high school basketball player Jabari Parker. Marcus Liberty, from Chicago King was the #1 player in the country in 1987 and the rest attended Simeon High School. Chicago basketball fans know all those names and one more Ben Wilson. Ben Wilson became the first Chicago Public League basketball player to be named the consensus #1 basketball player in the country.
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, Chatham community, 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. Ben Wilson was tragically killed in November 1984 the day before his senior season ,the outpouring of grief city-wide was unprecedented.
While I understand this ESPN produced this documentary for television I felt that this documentary needed to be shown on the big screen. I feel that all high school students and athletes especially basketball players need to see this documentary. 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. I was present at the memorial put on by his Simeon teammates. The memorial held on the courts he made at Cole Park recently hosted the #1 college and high school player and was attended by Chicago High School basketball elite. Also, I saw first hand the pain that still exist.
The timing of this documentary is amazing as in 1984, the 2012-13 consensus #1 high school basketball player again is a Simeon student Jabari Parker
The producers and ESPN thought this documentary needed to be seen as well. The documentary has been shown at film festivals around the country including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Last month a special screening took place for the family and close friends on one night and Nike sponsored an invitation only screening the next night. Now it time for the rest of Chicago to see what so many have talked about. The Chicago International Film Festival is screening the documentary, the schedule is as follows:
Chicago International Film Festival-Benji
AMC River East 21
322 E Illinois St.
Chicago, IL 60610
6 pm and 8:30 pm
Chicago International Film Festival-Benji featuring directors Coodie and Chike
AMC River East
21 322 E Illinois St. Chicago, IL 60610
Finally, ESPN will air the documentary
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Tags: 6th ward, basketball, ben wilson, chatham, chicago international film festival, chicago park district, chicago public schools, chike, cole park, coodie, derrick rose, espn, jabari parker, king high school, marcus liberty, nick anderson, nike, roderick sawyer, Simeon High School, tribeca film festival