INDIANAPOLIS – An enthusiastic gallery of basketball fans at Lucas Oil Stadium were hushed quickly Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.
With 6:33 to go in the first half of the Midwest Regional Final game between Louisville and Duke, the Cardinals’ Kevin Ware suffered a compound fracture of his right leg as he was going for a blocked shot.
The injury occurred right in front of the Louisville bench and his teammates reacted in shock to the gruesome injury. Players for the Cardinals and the Blue Devils were visibly shaken by the injury as a few collapsed to the floor while others began to cry.
Immediately athletic trainers came to the aid of Ware, who was on his back with the injured leg in the air.
With the crowd of over 34,657 silent, Ware was worked on for over ten minutes before he was carried off the floor on a stretcher. It was a dark moment during Louisville’s 85-63 victory over Duke to win the Midwest Region and advance to the Final Four.
Ware went from Lucas Oil Stadium to Methodist Hospital where surgery on the injured leg was performed. According to Louisville basketball sports information director Kenny Klein, the bone was reset and wound sealed and rod inserted into his right tibia.
Klein also said that Ware will remain in Indianapolis until Tuesday and will return to Louisville after with the hope that he will join the team in Atlanta for their national semifinal game against Wichita State on Saturday.
Moments following the injury concern was expressed by many throughout twitter with the hashtag “PrayForWare” began trending minutes after the injury. Joe Theismann, a former NFL quarterback whose career ended on a compound leg fracture in 1985, tweeted: “Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.”
Ware, a sophomore from The Bronx, NY, had three points a rebound and an assist before suffering the injury with 6:33 to go in the half. Mainly a reserve, Ware averages 17 minutes a game for the Cardinals averaging 4.6 points and 1.8 rebounds a game.