It was only an exhibition game, but it meant everything to the kid whose devastating, gruesome leg injury helped propel Louisville to the national college basketball title.
Kevin Ware, who suffered a compound fracture during the NCAA tournament 220 days ago, had six points and four rebounds in 10 minutes in the game against Pikeville. He hadn’t expected to play, but Coach Rick Pitino called his number and he stepped up.
“All right, Kevin,” Pitino said. “Let’s go.”
And he drained his first shot, a three-pointer.
(Yes, it’s a little dusty in here.)
“I’d been waiting for this moment for 220 days,” Ware said (via the Louisville Courier-Journal). “I honestly thought I would airball my first shot. When it went in, everything went back to normal.”
Ware was a motivating presence on crutches after breaking his leg in March and, last week, he was cleared to play again. He said he has leg-pressed 245 pounds recently and feels better than ever.
“I’m fine,” he said (via Courier-Journal columnist Adam Himmelsbach). “I’m Kevin again.”