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Brothers of slain basketball phenom Ben Wilson publicly forgive his killer

Jack Baer
Writer

The brothers of one of the most hyped basketball prospects in Chicago history have publicly reconciled with his killer.

Ben Wilson was a state champion at Simeon High School and poised to be basketball’s next big star at 6-foot-8 and famously described by his coach as “Magic Johnson with a jump shot.” That hope was cut down when Wilson was shot by William Moore during an argument on November 20, 1984 and died the next day. Wilson was 17 years old, while Moore was 16.

Wilson’s legacy was captured decades later by ESPN’s documentary “Benji,” and now another documentary is coming out about Wilson’s brothers forgiving Moore, called “Both Sides of the Gun: A Story of Reconciliation.”

During an event covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, Anthony and Jeff Moore discussed the process of reconciling with Moore, who was released from prison in 2004:

“This is about forgiveness,” said Anthony Wilson, 43. “I’ve learned to forgive Mr. Moore. I was emotionally compromised meeting this man.”

“I did it for the city of Chicago,” said Jeff Wilson, 46. “... I don’t want anyone to have this type of bitterness.”

Moore told the crowd he was sorry for what he did.

“It’s something I carry with me my whole life,” Moore said. “I want to make sure other young people don’t have to go through the things I had to deal with.”

Per the Sun-Times, Moore now works as a case worker for the Inner-City Muslim Action Network and mentors boys in a situation similar to the one he was in before murdering Wilson. He has also felt the heartbreak of gun violence, reportedly losing his son William IV to gun violence in July 2017.

The loss of Ben Wilson is one of basketball's great tragedies. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

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