With six minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the first-half of Sunday’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest regional final between Duke University and the University of Louisville, Cardinals guard Kevin Ware leaped to block a shot from Blue Devils guard Tyler Thornton, and landed awkwardly on his right leg. The results were horrific. Scream of agony. Compound fracture. Hands over heads of teammates. Looks of terror on the faces of opponents.
Ware’s leg had broken in a manner reminiscent of Joe Theisman’s career-ending injury after getting sacked by Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor on November 18th, 1985, or Eduardo da Silva’s left fibula being broken while playing in a match on February 23rd, 2008. Bone was visible, and body parts were bending in a fashion for which they were not meant to bend.
It seems to be of secondary importance to note that Louisville somehow went on to win the game and advance to the Final Four. However, they did, thus fulfilling Ware’s request as the player was being transported to Methodist Hospital with two fractures in his right leg. After surgery on Sunday evening, Ware was resting comfortably, posting photos through social media and speaking with teammates. He now faces at least an entire year of recovery.