ESPN Documentary Tells Tragic Story of Talented Basketball Player

Benji pic


An alumnus of Harvard Business School, Keith Clinkscales was instrumental in the development of the critically and culturally successful VIBE Magazine and has since gone on to hold executive roles with ESPN, Revolt Media, and Shadow League Digital. While working as senior vice president of content development and enterprises with ESPN, Keith Clinkscales served as executive producer to the ESPN documentary Benji.

Chicago is the hometown of numerous National Basketball Association legends like Isiah Thomas, Maurice Cheeks, and Hersey Hawkins. Benjamin Wilson, known as “Benji” among friends, aspired and had the potential to be just as great as those aforementioned players, but that opportunity was robbed from him when he was murdered the day before the start of his senior season of high school in 1984. The Simeon Career Academy star was just 17 years old. He was senselessly shot during lunch break after he had accidentally bumped into a trio of fellow teenagers, two of whom received 30- and 40-year prison sentences.

An estimated 10,000 people attended Wilson’s funeral, where Reverend Jesse Jackson delivered the eulogy. Prior to his death, Wilson was lauded as the top high school player in the country by renowned scout Bob Gibbons. Not surprisingly, the 6-foot-9-inch-tall swingman earned scholarship offers from a multitude of universities, including DePaul, Indiana, and Illinois. The film was directed by Coodie Simmons, who was in the seventh grade when Wilson was murdered.

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