This week, the athletic community was rocked when Louisville’s Kevin Ware broke his leg in a freak play during the team’s Elite Eight game against Duke. Not only was Kevin Ware a prominent figure on the court for Louisville but the team’s closeness was never more apparent than after he got hurt. The injury took place infront of the team’s bench and turned the team’s stomachs. But instead of bowing out of the game, Louisville took their fallen teammates last words before he was rushed to the hospital to heart, “Win”.
Louisville came out of the lockerroom on fire and handily beat the Blue Devils. Now who is to say that Louisville would not have won the game had the injury never happened but it was clear that the team rallied together to put together one of the most memorable games in program history if not the NCAA tournament.
The Louisville story topped the charts this week on Twitter. #kevinware and #prayforkevin ranked higher than #MarchMadness proving that fans feel for a story. But what was it about this story that made the athletic community come together. In my opinion it was the fact that if you were watching the game and were an athlete or just a fan of the game, you felt for Ware. It was a wake-up call to every athlete and even everyone, play in the moment because you never know what the next moment can hold.
I will probably never forget seeing Kevin Ware fall during that game not because I am a basketball player but because I am an athlete. No one touched him, it was simple play that he made to block a shot and just landed wrong, a play I have made myself multiples times. If you have ever had an athletic injury than whenever you watch someone have that same injury, you immediately cringe. Whenever someone hits their head or rolls their ankle, I can not watch. But this injury was different. Kevin Ware’s bone popped out of his leg.
Louisville athletics and Kevin’s personal accounts were able to keep the thousands of fans that wanted to make sure he was okay informed. It was a social media storm but a positive one. One that may be forgotten by fans that did not witness the injury and only saw replays and cannot understand the magnitude of what happened live. But it is something that will probably remain in the minds of athletes everywhere for years to come. Life is fast and you never know what is going happen. Play with your heart like the Louisville team did. When you are a team, you feel what your teammates feel and will play for them, win with them and always the give the credit to them.