|Benji Wilson, the best high school player in the country was shot dead in 1984.|
For the past couple of years I’ve been riding hard for LeBron to get over the hump and win a title. I’ve been in his corner not because I’m from Akron or Cleveland or because I even know the cat. I’ve been riding for him because I saw LeBron James before he was even born. He was Ben Wilson from the south side of the Chicago at Simeon High School back in 1984.
I’m quite sure everybody saw the 30 for 30 joint entitled “Benji” last night. Well I grew up just 10 minutes from the south side of Chicago in Gary, In. and it was my senior year in high school when Ben Wilson was murdered. We were just about to go on Thanksgiving break when he was killed. He was the best player in the country playing on the best team in the country and was gunned down right across the street from the school. That shook the entire Chicagoland area for a long time bruh. The best player in the country shot and killed bruh? That's not supposed to happen but it did!
From that point on I’ve always pulled for guys coming out of the hood to make it because nothing is promised. That’s why it blows my mind that so many people that have grown up or are currently growing up in the war zone are hating on so many of our athletes and are pulling for them to fail. It’s not promised that a boy will make it even if they are the best in the country! So when they do make it, you’ve got to ride with them because you share a common bond. "The Hood!" You understand what they’ve gone through to make it to this point. Now if you understand what they’ve gone through and you’re still hatin’ you’re a straight up buster and your ghetto pass should be revoked for life. That's Real Talk!
Why wouldn’t you want to see a cat succeed? The hood is the hood I don’t care where you’re from and the dangers are always present. Boyz did everything to protect Benji but it happened anyway. Cats don’t get it, he was the “Chosen One” before there was ever a young stud from Akron. Benji was that dude and we never got to see him play on the next level. More importantly, he never got to see his child grow up and never had a chance to become all that he was supposed to become. However, God doesn’t make mistakes so it turned out the way it was supposed to. Benji made his impact and moved on.
So my point in this whole joint is to tell boyz to stop hatin’ on cats for being good and support them because they represent all of the youngsters that never made it out of the war zone. They are carrying the torch for all of those families that have lost a loved one to the violence in the streets whether they were an athlete or not. To see potential go unfulfilled is the worse feeling in the world bruh.
Let’s keep it real or all the way 100, whichever comes 1st! To even make it out of the hood and be productive on any level is a blessing. Folks that have grown up in the suburbs have no idea what you’ve gone through just to sit at the same table as them in Corporate America or in professional sports. Life was easy for them so I understand why they just don’t get it. Not only does a kid in the ghetto have to be good. They have to be good in the mist of the war zone. Not only do they have to perfect their craft but they have go to class and study all while dodging the land mines on the way to the crib everyday because not everybody wants to see them succeed.
It still upsets me when I hear sports talk show hosts that have never set one foot inside the war zone blasting our athletes for the mistakes or the decisions that they’ve made without even trying to understand why. Unfortunately, they didn’t see all of the Big Momma’s praying, all the coaches from youth league through high school and the hood looking out for these kids in the process. So the next time you want to hate on a boy think about the greatness that was cut down in Chi-town’s Benji Wilson and maybe you'll have a different perspective and stop yourself!
Holla At Ya Boy!
Get @ me on Twitter: @jaygravesreport