Kevin Ware, one year ago this week, suffered a gruesome broken leg against Duke in an Elite 8 game. Ware’s injury became a national story – that happens when bone breaks through skin on National TV – and on a small scale, it was the most-trafficked post on this website in 2013.
Where is Kevin Ware today? He’s not on the Louisville basketball team. Somehow, quietly, Ware hasn’t become a story during the Cardinals run to the Sweet 16. Part of that is because the team doesn’t really need him – Terry Rozier, a freshman, plays the same position, but much better – but the other part of the story remains a mystery.
On the eve of Louisville’s return to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Sweet 16 date with Kentucky – the place where Ware suffered his injury last year – and the Courier-Journal has an answer:
He no longer attends games or practices and has not been available for interviews since January, and another request was turned down by U of L on Monday. But Ware’s mother does not believe this is the end. “I think he’ll be back with Louisville next year,” Junior said. “That’s where he is and that’s where he wants to be. I just think that once he gets healthy enough, he’ll be able to get back.”
There were rumors Ware had been kicked off the team in the offseason, but Ware played in an exhibition game in November. Then he made headlines for a reckless driving charge after borrowing a car from a friend. He was inadvertently kicked in the leg during a game in December, and then in January the team announced he would seek a medical redshirt. According to the Courier-Journal, Ware initially was attending Louisville games, going through warm-up drills and sitting on the bench. Then he vanished, perhaps because watching and being so close but not being able to play was too difficult for him.
The school told the paper he’s still enrolled in classes, but no longer attending practices. Will Jim Nantz and Greg Anthony bring up Ware’s injury Friday night when Louisville plays Kentucky?
Related: The Jason McIntyre Show: Kevin Ware Reaction, with John Ourand, Dan Steinberg & Clay Travis
Related: Kevin Ware Had Surgery on His Broken Leg, Then Louisville Surprised Him with the Midwest Region Trophy [Photo]
Related: Kevin Ware Alley-Oop From Peyton Siva was Part of Spectacular Louisville Run to Pound Syracuse [Video]