'Benji' was riveting TV

'Benji' was riveting TV

Staff writer Bob Asmussen took in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 premiere of “Benji” on Tuesday night. His take:

"Touching. Tragic. A senseless killing. We can only guess what kind of impact Ben Wilson would have had on Chicago had he not lost his life as a high school senior. Maybe he becomes the next Michael Jordan. Or an early version of LeBron James. After just two seasons on the Simeon High School basketball team, he was anointed the nation's top basketball player. Almost 30 years later, the story resonates in Illinois. Tuesday night, the rest of the country got to see Nick Anderson, Michael Wilbon, Lou Henson, Taylor Bell and countless others sing the praises of the phenom. But credit the directors for going beyond the mythical story and digging into what really happened. The interview with the man convicted of killing Wilson was a brilliant addition."



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ChsnSC wrote on October 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

With his good friend Nick Anderson at Illinois did Benji Wilson ever declare to play for the Illini?  He could have played with Batlle etc etal.....can only dream...

What were the circumstances of Lou Henson leaving Illinois?   

JoeCOOL wrote on October 24, 2012 at 10:10 am
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IHSA Class of '84-Battle, '85-Ben would have been, '85-Nick.  It was believed that Ben was going commit to IL over DePaul and others.  IF that occurred with what actually occurred, he would have played with Nick and KB for 2yrs (his Jr & Sr yrs).   KB transferred from Northern IL to U of I after his Soph yr and sat out what would have been Ben's Soph yr.  Nick was Prop 48 his Fr yr during what would have been Ben's Soph yr.  and would have only played with him in last 2yrd , also.  That Flyin' Illini Final 4 team would have been Ben's Sr yr.  I got to say they would have won it all that year, for sure.


JoeCOOL wrote on October 24, 2012 at 11:10 am
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85-86 squad: Ben-Fr with Douglas, Winters, Welch, Altenberger, Norman, Wysinger, Blackwell, Meents, Blab, Kujawa, Hamilton, Green, Woodward, Taylor, and Keller that lost to Alabama in the 2nd round of NCAA by 2pts. All 10 losses that year were by 7 pts or less for 22-10 (11-7 Big10).  At least half may have been wins and seeding higher in NCAA.   

86-87 squad: Ben-Soph with Altenberger, Norman, Wysinger, Blackwell, Blab, Kujawa, Hamilton, Gill, Bardo, Smith, Green, Kunz, and Finke that lost to Austin Peay in the 1nd round of NCAA by 1pt.  He would of got to practice against Battle, Anderson and Small as they sat out for Transfer or Prop48. And, 7 of 8 losses that year were by 7 pts or less for 23-8 (13-5 Big10).  May not have lost in 1st round and been wins and seeding higher in NCAA.   

87-88 squad: Ben-Jr with Blackwell, Kujawa, Hamilton, Gill, Bardo, Smith, Battle, Anderson, Small, and Kunz.  He would of got to practice Liberty as they sat out for Prop48. And, 6 of 10 losses that year were by single digits or less for 23-10 (12-6 Big10).  May not have lost in 2nd round to 'Nova for the 2nd time in the year by 3pts or less in NCAA.