By Eric Melter
In the intense battle of two teams fighting for a spot in the Final Four of the NCAA March Madness tournament, Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome lower right leg injury against Duke. With the sophomore who attended high school near Atlanta in agony near the Louisville bench, some of his teammates fell to the floor and later wept over the apparent severity of the injury. Ware had attempted to contest a three-point attempt from Tyler Thornton of Duke when his leg buckled beneath him. Louisville led 21-20 at the time of the injury. Play was stopped for several minutes before resuming with 6:33 remaining in the first half.
“‘The bone’s 6 inches out of his leg and all he’s yelling is, ‘Win the game, win the game,'” Pitino said on the court. “I’ve not seen that in my life. … Pretty special young man.'” (www.huffingtonpost.com). Several minutes after Ware was stretchered off the court, Tracy Wolfson of CBS reported that the team had confirmed it was a broken leg and that the player had been transported to a Methodist Hospital near Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The tragically gruesome injury doesn’t just spell the end of Ware’s promising sports career; it also means dollar signs for the hospital caring for the NBA hopeful. Ware was not working under a guaranteed contract, and as a result is not automatically guaranteed a four-year education scholarship nor assistance with the oncoming medical bills. Division I NCAA basketball players get athletic scholarships for their performance; however the scholarships often do not cover the entire cost of attending college. Furthermore, many players (including Ware) aren’t guaranteed a four-year scholarship. Essentially it means that if a player were to be injured while attending a school that refuses multi-year scholarships, the scholarships are often revoked.
Kevin Ware’s injury is now seen as the worst injury of all time, even worse than former Washington Redskins quarterback, Joe Theismann. A shiver went through Joe Theismann as he sat inside his home office Sunday, watching the Duke-Louisville NCAA tournament game. The horrific right leg injury suffered by Louisville guard Kevin Ware caused the former quarterback a nightmarish flashback. “‘My world just came to a complete stop, it was just a horrible, horrible thing to see happen — I hate to see anybody have an injury that is anywhere near anything like I went through,” Theismann told USA TODAY Sports.” All of a sudden, it’s, ‘Oh my God!'” (www.usatoday.com)