Filmmaker Adam McKay’s ‘Death at the Wing’ podcast to feature nuances of Ben Wilson’s murder

The show details 1980s intersectional issues leading to a number of untimely deaths of rising hoops prospects.

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Preps phenom Ben Wilson, who died in 1984 in Chicago, was once rated among the best high school basketball players in the country.


A podcast created by filmmaker Adam McKay (“The Big Short,” “Vice,” “Anchorman”) details the nuances surrounding the tragic deaths of hoops phenoms and the presence of intersectional issues many attributed to policies of the Reagan Administration.

Death at the Wing,” a narrative podcast premiering Wednesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher features the tragic deaths of Celtics draft pick Len Bias, Nets guard Dražen Petrović and Hornets guard Bobby Phills, among others, including Simeon hoops legend Ben Wilson.

Wilson, the subject of episode four, was viewed as the top high school player in the nation — the first Chicagoan to receive the honor — but was murdered in 1984.


Chicago prep basketball legend Ben “Benji” Wilson.


Wilson was having an argument with his girlfriend, Jetun Rush, the mother of his son, Brandon, when he bumped into William Moore. An argument ensued, and Moore shot Wilson.

Before Wilson’s murder shook the city, he was sent to a hospital that didn’t have a trauma unit.

McKay, an Academy Award winner and Second City alumnus, serves as the podcast’s host and producer. He also is the executive producer of an upcoming HBO limited series detailing the 1980s “Showtime” era of the Lakers.

“I’ve been an NBA junkie pretty much my whole life and have always been haunted by the amazing young talents we tragically lost in the 1980s into the ’90s,” said McKay in a press release. “Once we dove in, it became obvious the tragic stories of these young, mostly African American men are really the story of what happened to America over the last 40 years. A forty years that would see the NBA become a global powerhouse while the U.S. slowly came apart.”

The episode also features Moore, now an anti-violence activist who served 19 years and 9 months for Wilson’s killing and lost his own son, William IV, to gun violence in July 2017.

Last year, Anthony and Jeff Wilson — Ben Wilson’s brothers — and Moore appeared publicly for the first time at an event featuring clips from “Both Sides of the Gun: A Story of Reconciliation,” a documentary that chronicles their road to forgiveness.

, speaks with Wilson’s brothers, Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Rapper Common at Malcolm X College, during a conversation and private screening of “Both Sides of the Gun”, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Chicago.

William Moore

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

In 2018 after years of strong criticism — including protests — from community stakeholders, the University of Chicago Medical Center opened a Level I adult trauma center on the South Side. In 1990, the now-shuttered Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center closed its trauma center, leaving large swaths of the South Side without a trauma center.

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