By Justin Renck:
There is really no plan on how this post will go. I just know I want to write something about the whole Kevin Ware situation, so I will just ramble as thoughts come to me, and it will just end up how it ends up. I won’t just tell what happened, because everyone knows that story. There have been interviews from Ware shown on TV numerous times. So all I can give is my story about when it happened I guess.
I was at the game in Indianapolis, closer to the basket near Duke’s bench. When Ware hit the ground and got injured, the whistles quickly blew and I could see that Ware was down. But then, I saw 3 other Cards down near the free throw line (Siva, Behanan, and Blackshear). My immediate reaction, and those around me as well, was “How did we not see 4 players get hurt on one play?” I really thought we had almost a whole team that got hurt and I was so confused. I knew Ware was hurt because he was on his back. The other guys were just kind of hunched over, so I thought maybe people bumped heads. I had no idea why they were down, but I certainly do now.
They did not show 1 replay on the screens at the game, and for good reason. But of course in this day in age, news travels fast. The texts started to roll in from friends and family watching on TV. They said it was the worst thing they had ever seen; it was terrible; don’t watch it. I had people texting me from Louisville, KY, Paintsville, KY, Glendale, AZ, and Auburn, AL. Everyone was watching. I was being told that guys on the team were crying. Being that far away from where it happened, all I could do was imagine. (Of course someone sent me a picture of it that I was not prepared for)
*This first text is with me and my friend Pat Ridge. His comments are in the blue, mine in the white. The next 2 are with my friend Derrick Wynn, a huge Kentucky fan. My comments are in the blue for those.*
We all know the rest of the story, about Ware telling his team to “Just win the game.” And the Cards taking care of Duke 85-63. It was a weird ride home. The Cards had just advanced to the Final 4 and our girls were taking out Baylor, but this was just a dark cloud over everything. I got home right around 11 and immediately turned on the news and SportsCenter to watch about the game and Ware. I can count on 1 hand the times I have cried in my adult life. It took everything I had to not let myself do that on this night. Of course they did not show the play, but they showed the reactions of the players and coaches, and that is what just about got me. I don’t have the words to describe what happened on that court at that moment with the guys crying and helping each other. It was way too powerful for me to grasp, but it was something incredible, and something that I had never seen before at any event. Since it happened, I have never felt the closeness of the UofL community and fan base be so strong as it is right now. It really is like a family, and this brought everyone together.
Honestly (I feel like Ware would want me to use that word!), when Kevin Ware got suspended earlier this season, I was certain we had seen him play his last game as a Card. I just thought that was it for him, and he would transfer to somewhere that would make him more happy. I am glad I was wrong. He came back and was playing his best basketball, and finally looked like he was having fun at UofL. He went from someone I thought was heading out, to now one of my all-time favorite players in UofL history because of how he has handled all of this. I can’t wait to see him back on the court.
So this post was not really to bring you any new information or anything like that. I just knew I wanted to say something, and this was the best way for me to do that. So I definitely appreciate you taking the time to even read this. Hopefully Kevin sees it sometime in his busy schedule and appreciates it.
Go Cards. Win for Ware.