The Simeon basketball team began wearing shoes on Thursday night that honor former star Ben Wilson. Wilson, who was one of the top high school basketball players in the country in the early 1980s, was shot and killed in 1984 just before his senior year at Simeon. Wilson was the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "Benji," that aired earlier this year.
Some of Simeon's top players have honored Wilson in the past by wearing his number, 25. Those players include future NBA players Nick Anderson and Derrick Rose. However, this is the first team-wide tribute to Wilson:
"They wanted to have it this season for the '30 for 30' and to remember his legacy," Simeon coach Robert Smith said on Thursday. "He started the program as far as putting it on the national level. For those kids to still honor him and his legacy in a time when kids are only thinking about themselves, it's huge."
Simeon debuted the sneakers that bear Wilson's name and number on Thursday night for their nationally televised game against DeSoto (TX). Unfortunately for them, they fell short, 67-57, with star player Jabari Parker scoring only five points. It was Parker's second game back after suffering a fractured right foot, and the effects of the rust was still significant.