Kevin Ware is not much for the spotlight.
His teammates on the University of Louisville basketball team will point out he’s typically the player in the corner of the room when the media is allowed into the locker room. In his own words, Ware is “just not a media-type guy.”
But on Wednesday afternoon, Ware was in the spotlight. Three days after suffering a horrific broken right leg in an NCAA Tournament game against Duke, Ware did interviews with all the major news outlets and then sat down with the local media – which included 23 cameras and around 75 members of the media.
”I’m a very quiet guy,” he said. “A lot of this is new to me.”
But Ware said he has quickly found out just how big his story has become. U of L athletic director Tom Jurich called it “an international story.”
Ware said the outreach of support has “been amazing” since he suffered the injury on national television and then had surgery later that night. He spent two days in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and returned to Louisville on Tuesday.
He’s expected to travel with the team to Atlanta on Wednesday night.
”I didn’t know this situation would spark the whole country,” Ware said. “I just really appreciate everybody and the support I have had but we still have a job to do. We have two more games to win and that’s the most important thing right now. I will recover and I will be fine. But we have work to do.”
Louisville will play Wichita State on Saturday night in the national semifinals.
Ware said his favorite call was one from Kobe Bryant but Pitino and his mother, Lisa Junior, also noted First Lady Michelle Obama called to offer encouragement. Hundreds of other athletes, actors and musicians, not to mention friends and just other random people watching the game have called or used some form of social media to get in contact with Ware.
”Stuff like this just doesn’t happen for no reason,” Ware said. “There’s a reason behind everything. I assume that I will find out what the reason will be. But it’s just a process I am ready for.”
This story will be updated.