Kevin Ware's Return

Kevin Ware’s Return To March Madness

Kevin Ware, the former Louisville player who broke his leg in a gruesome injury in a 2013 game against Duke, led his new college team, the Georgia State Panthers (the 14 seed), as they took on Baylor Bears (the 3 seed) in a West Region matchup. Kevin played a supporting role, scoring four points as GSU joined in what was an epic day of nail biters in the NCAA Tournament.

According to ABC News, Ware transferred to Georgia State to be closer to home as he recovered from his injury. Kevin admitted that the mental recovery from his injury was the most difficult part.

“I had to act like everything was OK when it wasn’t…”

Part of the issue, according to the Courier-Journal, was Ware blaming the media for his mental state.

“…the media really destroyed me wanting to be there [Louisville]…”

Kevin pointed out the media obsession with his injury and highlighted one instance of a question posed by TMZ that was about his sex life as opposed to basketball. So, that was also part of the reasoning Kevin had for transferring.

ESPN reports that GSU coach Ron Hunter had to help Ware overcome obstacles over the last two years and not quit playing basketball.

“…it was a struggle… everything was a struggle…”

That all changed for Kevin after the Sun Belt championship. Ware had hoped to face Louisville at some point in this tournament, according to the Washington Post. However, that will be highly unlikely since both teams would have to advance deep into the tournament. Kevin is not above hoping for a March miracle.

“I miss those guys, but it is what it is. Hopefully, they advance and we advance.”

Kevin Ware’s season highlight came in the Sun Belt Tournament championship when he led the Panthers with 18 points as they secured their third NCAA Tournament berth. Kevin was named the tournament’s most valuable player because of his efforts. However, the most memorable moment from that game was when Georgia State coach Ron Hunter tore his ACL while celebrating the Sun Belt Tournament championship, instantly becoming a household name.

Even though Kevin played a minor role in GSU’s first-round game against Baylor, the game came down to the last possession, which Sam Venecie of CBS Sports described as “The Must-See 8 seconds” of the game. GSU’s R.J. Hunter, the coach’s son, hit a 35-footer to win the game.

So, Kevin Ware’s triumphant return to March Madness continues as Georgia State will advance to play against Xavier on Saturday.

[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

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