When Louisville Cardinals basketball player Kevin Ware, 20, suffered a gruesome injury on the court Sunday during the NCAA Midwest Regional finals, it was the kind of moment that could make or break a game.
His teammates, shocked at the severity of his injury, gathered to rally around him until he was carried to safety. The 6-foot-2 guard, a sophomore, was contesting an outside shot when he landed at the wrong angle, causing his leg to buckle and bend sharply.
Despite his pain, Ware continued to cheer on his team from the sidelines, telling them he would be all right. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino told ABC News, "The bone’s six inches out of his leg and all he’s yelling is, ‘Win the game, win the game.' I’ve not seen that in my life. Pretty special young man.”
As shaken as the Cardinals were about Ware's injury, they seemed to take his request to win the game as an order. The team was victorious against Duke, taking the game 85-63. Afterward, they brought the trophy to Ware's hospital room and laid it in his arms.
A bit more about Ware and his accomplishments:
- He hails from the Bronx in New York, but went to high school in Georgia
- He grew up with three sisters, Donna, Brittney and Khadijah
- He averaged 13.2 points, 4.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game as a high school senior, helping his Rockdale County team post a 26-6 record and finish as the Georgia 4-A state runner-up
- He was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 70 overall prospect in the class of 2011 and was listed No. 94 in the ESPNU Top 100
- He originally signed a national letter-of-intent with Tennessee before being granted a release, and had narrowed his choices to colleges in Georgia before ultimately joining the Cardinals
- His personal goal at the University of Louisville is to win a national championship
Ware will remain in Indianapolis until at least Tuesday, ESPN reports. He hopes to return to Louisville and rejoin his team as they advance to the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. Doctors have not offered a prediction for when Ware will be able to return to the court, but his good attitude will surely lead the way.