On March 31, 2013 (April 1 Manila time), in the Elite Eight matchup in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men‘s Basketball Tournament between the Louisville Cardinals and the Duke Blue Devils at the Lucas Oil Stadiumin Indianapolis, Indiana. We were all witness to one of the most gruesome and horrible injury that we have seen in sports.
With the Cards up 21-20 on the Blue Devilsin the 1st half. Duke’s Tyler Thornton fired a three pointer, Louisville’s Kevin Ware came up for the block attempt, he came up short with his block attempt, but as he landed, he landed bad on the floor, as it turned out his foot snapped and the bone came out of the skin. It happened in front of the Louisville bench. As his teammates looked on, they were horrified to see what happened with Ware. Even Louisville head coach Rick Pitino shed tears with what happened to his player. The injury sent the entire Lucas Oil Stadium in disbelief and silence. Even the players and fans from Duke where shocked with what happened with him. The injury Ware suffered is most likely to happen to people who took hard falls on the cliff or went through a vehicular accident. No one had thought that it would happen on a basketball game. The medical team immidiately covered the injury with the towel for people not to see it. Then, Ware before he was carried off the floor to the hospital. Ware asked to talk to his team and said “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay, you guys go win this thing.” Afterwards, he was carried off the floor to the chants of the Cardinals faithful of “Kevin”. Eventually, the Cardinals responded to the call of their fallen hero as Louisville defeated Duke to claim the Midwest Regional Championship 83-65. As the Louisville players paid respect to their fallen teammate in front of the Cardinals faithful at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Immidiately after the game, videos and photos of his injury came out on the internet, sending people who are basketball fans (including myself) as well as those who were not into the game into disbelief. They also sent their best wishes to Ware on social media through Twitter on his own Twitter account and Facebook. From NBA players to basketball fans all over the world, they wished the sophomore all the best. He also became an inspiration to fans all over the world, as he was called a “true warrior” for staying strong throughout the experience. Here’s a photo that came out after the injury asking fans to “Pray for Ware”.
Ware was sent to a nearby hospital in Indianapolis where he went for a successful two-hour surgery on his right foot. Ware is optimistic that he’ll be back playing once he gets through with his rehabilitation which will take a full year. Now, he’ll be with his team in the Final Four in his own hometown of Atlanta as he’ll look to be an inspiration for the Cardinals’ run to the National Championship. They will face the West Regional Champions #9 Wichita State Shockers in the Final Four on April 6 (April 7 Manila time) where the winner will face the winner between the East Regional Champions #4 Syracuse Orange and the South Regional Champions #4 Michigan Wolverines in the National Championship Game on April 8 (April 9 Manila time).
The injury was a horrible sight for me from both the video and photo of his injury which I will not add into this blog entry for it contains graphic content and is disturbing for readers. That injury also made me contemplate about playing basketball. As with any sport though, there is always a risk to deal with playing these games. Despite that, I’ll continue playing basketball for fun as well as time to bond with the people around me and improve on my personal health.
Also, I don’t like the fact people had been blaming the injury on the Adidas shoe he wore (The Louisville Cardinals are sponsored by Adidas), sure there had been notable players who got hurt on Adidas shoes, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III to name some, but I say it’s not on the shoes they wear on their injuries. I’m sure Nike fanatics will take Ware’s injury to show off their dominance on Adidas.
For now, we wait if the Cardinals can win the National Championship this year (I’m a fan of the Blue Devils but I now believe the Cards have a reason to win the championship.) and whether or not Kevin Ware will get through rehabilitation well and be a part of the Cards’ run next year.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay, you guys go win this thing.” – Kevin Ware
Pray for Ware.