User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Louisville's Ware upbeat despite broken leg

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware will travel to the Final Four on his crutches and expects to be a big presence for the Cardinals.

Cleared by doctors Wednesday to accompany Louisville to Atlanta, the sophomore tells The Associated Press he plans to be a full participant in the team's preparation for Saturday's game against Wichita State.

Ware says the overwhelming support he has received has helped him maintain his spirits and strengthened his confidence of a full recovery. He hopes by next season to be helping the Cardinals defend the national championship he believes they'll win this weekend.

The normally reserved 20-year-old calmly recalled how he felt when he suffered the devastating injury, saying he doesn't think Louisville would be in the Final Four if he had lost his composure.

Ware credits teammate Luke Hancock for calming him down.

``He got me to that point where I really had to put the pain on hold,'' said Ware, with his leg in a cast propped up on a couch at the Cardinals' practice facility. ``Once he said his prayer, I was kind of thinking the whole time, `you can either be a crybaby about it or you're going to get your team back and get them in the right mindset'.

``Luke said his words, and I just kept repeating, `y'all gotta go win this game.' I'm fine. ... It really helped the team.''

But it wasn't easy for the Cardinals, many of whom cried after seeing Ware's gruesome injury - his bone protruding through his skin.

Even Louisville coach Rick Pitino was emotional, wiping tears from his eyes and later saying that the sight of his player's injury almost made him vomit.

The Cardinals eventually regrouped to lead at halftime en route to an 85-63 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in Indianapolis.

Through it all, Ware said he had to remain strong. He was placed on a stretcher and wheeled out of Lucas Oil Stadium to cheers of `Kevin Ware, Kevin Ware,' before heading to Methodist Hospital.

Ware underwent a two-hour operation to repair compound fractures of the tibia that left the leg at an odd angle. He awoke the next morning to discover he had become an overnight sensation, and the afterglow hasn't waned.

His condition and progress have been featured every day on the major networks, the Internet and especially social media. The Cardinals' practice facility was surrounded by a phalanx of satellite trucks, and the interview requests helped Ware get an early jump on his rehab as he shuttled back and forth between makeshift sets.

Ware said he has heard from several of his NBA idols, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Charles Barkley. The Louisville guard said he has even heard from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

For the soft-spoken Ware, the support and media attention has meant more interviews than he ever imagined.

``I had no idea I would get this kind of attention,'' he said. ``I'm one of those guys who just likes to play basketball. But the injury opened up a lot of peoples' eyes and I really appreciate all the support. It really means a lot.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Oregon picked to repeat in Pac-12
UNC: SF Pinson out indefinitely
3 Lindenwood players face charges
Louisville accused over escort allegations
Big Ten, MAC to test instant replay
Arizona adds to 2017 class with Lee
Former Florida coach Tommy Bartlett dies
Eustachy to remain with Colorado State
Calipari, Kentucky picked to win SEC
Why Buy Picks From
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 3618
Chip Chirimbes + 2069
Joe Nelson + 1709
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Stephen Nover 58 %
John Fisher 57 %
Joe Nelson 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1808
Antony Dinero + 1369
Jim Feist + 1323
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 1061
Stephen Nover + 565
Joe Williams + 560
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2572
Doc's Sports + 1365
Chip Chirimbes + 1114
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership