On Tuesday night, ESPN aired "Benji," a documentary on Chicago high school basketball legend Ben Wilson as part of their "30 for 30" series. Wilson was the No. 1 high school basketball player in the country when he was murdered in 1984, and his death has loomed over the city's amateur basketball scene since then. The documentary was helmed by the directing team Coodie and Chike, South Side natives who, among other things, directed Kanye West's "Through the Wire" video.
Wilson was a star at Chicago's Simeon High, where he wore the No. 25. That number was worn in the NBA in his honor by teammate Nick Anderson, was worn in high school by Derrick Rose before being retired by the school in 2009. Current Simeon phenom Jabari Parker has the number stitched into his shoes.
The documentary focused on the immediate aftermath of Wilson's death and its legacy, as well as its place in the makeup of Chicago in the early to mid-1980s. It is a sad story, and the documentary did a brutally good job of telling it. Here is one reaction tweet from SB Nation's Bomani Jones:
this is all...got no words. #benji— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) October 24, 2012
The documentary will re-air on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.