The Louisville Cardinals banded together Sunday after sophomore guard Kevin Ware gruesomely shattered his right leg on the court, and went on to score a Final Four berth after beating Duke in the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Ware sustained a horrific fracture (video below) during the first half of the Midwest Regional basketball game Sunday when he landed awkwardly after attempting to contest a 3-point shot.
"I don't know if in basketball I've ever seen [an injury] like that," Jim Nantz of CBS said as medical personnel attended to Ware.
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Trainers quickly covered his leg with towels due to the graphic nature of the injury, and Louisville players openly wept as Ware screamed in agony.
CBS showed the replay of the injury twice when it happened, but the network made the decision not to air a close-up shot or to air it again during its halftime show
Before he was taken away on a stretcher, Ware reportedly called the team over around him. CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson said he told the rest of the Louisville players, "Don't worry about me. I'll be OK. You guys go win this thing."
"The bone's 6 inches out of his leg and all he's yelling is, 'Win the game, win the game,'" Louisville coach Rick Pitino told reporters after the game. "I've not seen that in my life... Pretty special young man."
Louisville went on to beat Duke 85-63.
Ware was transported to Methodist Hospital near Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and underwent surgery Sunday night when doctors reset the bone and inserted a metal rod into his tibia.
Pitino visited Ware Sunday night and brought the team's regional championship trophy with him.
"He was groggy, in good spirits. He saw us win the trophy and was crying and said it was all worthwhile," coach Rick Pitino told The Associated Press. "We didn’t cut down the net, but I left him the trophy."
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Ware's teammates and Louisville staffers are now waiting to find out when he will return to campus and whether he will be able to travel with the team to Atlanta for the Final Four later this week against Wichita St.
Note: The video below is extremely graphic
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