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Benji: ESPN Film on Ben Wilson

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Old Apr 26, 2012, 09:24 PM   #1
JJB
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Benji was, in the words of ESPN columnist Scoop Jackson, like “Magic Johnson with 30-foot range” -- blessed with size, handle and a jump shot to boot.

Wilson led Simeon High to a state title as a junior and was poised to make the school Chicago’s first to win back-to-back Illinois state championships. In addition to Wilson, Simeon had picked up a pair of talented transfers, including future NBA player Nick Anderson. The team seemed a lock to win state.

It would never come to pass. The day before what would have been the first game of his senior season, in 1984, Wilson was shot twice near Simeon after an altercation with a pair of teenagers. He died that night, and his assailants were later convicted.

One of the emotional turning points in the film comes when Anderson talks about getting the phone call that Benji was dead. Seeing a huge man, a former professional athlete, tear up recalling a memory from nearly 30 years ago drives home just how much Wilson meant to those around him.
http://espn.go.com/blog/high-school/...r-benji-debuts
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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I am looking forward to seeing this.

When someone finds the day/time/channel, please post it here.

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Old Apr 26, 2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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I still feel sad when I see his name mentioned. He would have been such a special player. And the senseless violence continues still......
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Old Apr 26, 2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Tough to watch and think about, even now. If you YouTube Ben Wilson, there's a series of 3 episodes that are really, really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsDdxalJmKo

Sure the ESPN version will be even better.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 05:47 AM   #5
Geno33
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I still can't help but wonder what that 1989 Final Four team could have acomplished with Ben a part of it.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 07:31 AM   #6
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I still can't help but wonder what that 1989 Final Four team could have acomplished with Ben a part of it.
Oh man, I don't even want to think about it. This was a sad time for Simeon and Illinois (both the school and state) and everyone involved. And as was mentioned, the senseless violence continues...

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Old Apr 30, 2012, 06:29 PM   #7
IlliniFan1988
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Originally Posted by BoolahBoolah View Post
Tough to watch and think about, even now. If you YouTube Ben Wilson, there's a series of 3 episodes that are really, really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsDdxalJmKo

Sure the ESPN version will be even better.
I remember this airing on Comcast Sportsnet. Very well done. It will be interesting to see how the one done by ESPN is.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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Will this be part of the 30 in 30 series?
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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Wow, it still moves me to tears when this is revisited, what a senseless waste. What a tremendous loss.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Wow, it still moves me to tears when this is revisited, what a senseless waste. What a tremendous loss.
Lab Rat I could not have said it better myself. Growing up in Chicago, Ben Wilson was our hero. I can remember the day he died. It still chokes me up.

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Old May 9, 2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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I work with a guy that grew up in the same neighborhood as Ben. I was born in 86, so I don't remember what it was like when this happened. The tragedy was brought up one day when we were on our way to a job site. He said the day he was killed, it was like the president had been killed. Nobody could imagine this happening to someone with so much potential, regardless of where he grew up. In my co-workers words "Ben wasn't the first or the last star that shined bright, but the darkness and struggle in the ghetto is beyond. You see the waste of potential everyday. Statesville is full of kids who could have been stars at the most elite of schools. If you can avoid the lifestyle, and get out alive you're lucky. The ghetto is like quicksand, even when you do all the right things there is always going to be someone who wants to take you down. The ghetto is strong." It truly is tragic and a life that I as a kid raised in and around little farm towns and cornfields will never completely understand. It's hard to imagine all of the loss, disappointment and tragedy that goes on only an hour north. R.I.P. Ben Wilson

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Old May 18, 2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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Not really on topic, but something happier

I'm in Orlando this week, and we saw Nick Anderson at Disney. He looks like he could still play. I gave him a wave and a thumbs up, he returned in kind. I wanted to run over there, show him my chief tattoo, tell him I was in orange krush in 89 etc but left him alone.

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Old May 18, 2012, 10:11 AM   #13
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Not really on topic, but something happier

I'm in Orlando this week, and we saw Nick Anderson at Disney. He looks like he could still play. I gave him a wave and a thumbs up, he returned in kind. I wanted to run over there, show him my chief tattoo, tell him I was in orange krush in 89 etc but left him alone.
Very cool. You should have atleast walked over and shook his hand and said hello. I think once an athlete retires, he starts to appreciate that fans more and they aren't such a bother. Not sure if I would have shown him the tattoo Depends on where you have it. :laugh:
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Old May 18, 2012, 01:38 PM   #14
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Very cool. You should have atleast walked over and shook his hand and said hello. I think once an athlete retires, he starts to appreciate that fans more and they aren't such a bother. Not sure if I would have shown him the tattoo Depends on where you have it. :laugh:

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Old Oct 2, 2012, 10:59 AM   #15
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By the way, the ESPN 30 for 30 "Benji" is airing on October 23rd. There is a trailer out there on Youtube for all of the fall docs but I think that there will be one solely for this doc soon.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 11:39 AM   #16
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Here is the trailer for the documentary.

Last edited by Dan; Oct 2, 2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 12:23 PM   #17
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Will this be part of the 30 in 30 series?
Yes. It is slated for its ESPN debut sometime in October or November.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:48 PM   #18
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ESPN also just did a OTL segment on the shooting death of Michael Haynes just before we was to leave for Iona.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8404925

So sad to see history repeat itself on the streets of Chicago.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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Here is the trailer for the documentary.
So sad, I don't think I can watch that. Just horrible and completely senseless.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 08:32 PM   #20
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As a kid, I was shocked by the loss of Ben Wilson. We'll never know what he could have been. I never had the chance to meet him but I felt his loss. Some things just don't change in 28 years since his passing.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 09:28 PM   #21
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If you have comcast cable the Ben Wilson ESPN doc is available on demand.

Go to OnDemand>>>>Sports and Fitness>>>>ESPN>>>>Films

It's about 80 minutes long.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 12:51 PM   #22
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Watching the preview to the Wilson documentary, I was puzzled by Scoop Jackson's angle. Is Jackson suggesting some kind of racial angle with his grouping(Jordan, Washington, Jackson, Wilson). What do those people have to do with Wilson; especially since one of them is of a villainous persona.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 01:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by D LaRusso View Post
If you have comcast cable the Ben Wilson ESPN doc is available on demand.

Go to OnDemand>>>>Sports and Fitness>>>>ESPN>>>>Films

It's about 80 minutes long.
It's also in the exact same spot on Mediacom. I watched this last night. What an incredibly sad story. It's sad to look back at what could have been for this young man. A modern day Derrick Rose and/or Jabari Parker.

I felt like the guy that shot him was very cocky still. Sad to hear about the other guy with him that got 30 years for standing by him as his friend shot BW.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 06:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by D LaRusso View Post
If you have comcast cable the Ben Wilson ESPN doc is available on demand.

Go to OnDemand>>>>Sports and Fitness>>>>ESPN>>>>Films

It's about 80 minutes long.
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Originally Posted by youlikeroses View Post
It's also in the exact same spot on Mediacom. I watched this last night. What an incredibly sad story. It's sad to look back at what could have been for this young man. A modern day Derrick Rose and/or Jabari Parker.

I felt like the guy that shot him was very cocky still. Sad to hear about the other guy with him that got 30 years for standing by him as his friend shot BW.
Thanks for the information. It is also on AT&T Uverse. I'm planning to watch this evening.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 06:52 PM   #25
GeorgiaIllini
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I remember when it happened. Shocking. Awful.

I did enjoy the clips of him play in the Hall. Wasn't it great when we hosted the state tourney??
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