Kevin Ware's leg injury in the Elite Eight contest between Louisville and Duke will go down in history as one of the most gruesome sights in NCAA tournament history.
The guard went up to contest a three-point shot by Duke's Tyler Thornton and came down awkwardly on his right leg.
The result was an event that silenced the entire stadium and caused grown men to cry. Readers interested in viewing the play can click here. (Warning: The images in the video are graphic and may not be appropriate for all viewers.)
According to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Ware officially broke his leg and was taken to the hospital:
Louisville says that Kevin Ware offcially a broken leg, CBS reports. He's off to the hospital. Ware is an ATL kid, so close to a homecoming.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) March 31, 2013
Ware's leg absolutely shattered upon impact, and immediately following his tumble several of his teammates fell to the ground with grief.
Thamel summed up the reaction with this apt comparison:
I have never seen teammates react to an injury like this. The whole team can't bear to watch. This is college hoops' Theismann.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) March 31, 2013
Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde captured the reaction from Ware's teammates in the minutes following his horrible fall:
Horrible, horrible scene. Chane Behanan sobbing. Russ crying. This is awful.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 31, 2013
Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated chronicled the moment when Ware was wheeled out of the stadium, not shying away from the awful reality of the situation:
Fans applauding for Kevin Ware as he's wheeled off on stretcher, with a towel over his legs. His shin bone was fully protruding.— Luke Winn (@lukewinn) March 31, 2013
Before Ware left the building, he offered a bit of motivation for his teammates, according to Tracy Wolfson of CBS (via Bleacher Report):
.@tracywolfson reports Kevin Ware told his teammates: "Don't worry about me. I'll be OK. You guys go win this thing."— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 31, 2013
Forde received an update from Kenny Klein of Louisville after Ware had reached the hospital:
Kenny Klein of U of L has hospital update: Kevin Ware's pain is under control and he will likely have surgery tonight.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 31, 2013
Ware's injury didn't just affect those who were in the building, either. Many people watching around the country were horrified by the injury and grieving for Ware, his family and his teammates.
High school basketball coach Drew Maddux was one of those:
In all my years of basketball, the Kevin Ware injury is the worst I've ever seen. Prayers go out to him and his family and teammates.— Drew Maddux (@DrewMaddux) March 31, 2013
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, who covers the NFL and MMA said:
I just saw the Kevin Ware injury. I work in 2 violent sports and i gotta say I have never seen anything THAT bad— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 31, 2013
San Francisco Giants fan Tressa Furry compared this injury to one suffered by Buster Posey in 2011:
NFL scout Steven Burkett offered sincere concern and prayers, as did many around the nation:
Wow! I just watched the injury to Kevin Ware and it breaks my heart! I am seriously praying for this young man! God Bless Kevin Ware!— Steven Burkett (@Steve_Burkett) March 31, 2013
Finally, from the Howard Stern radio show, TV watcher JD Harmeyer wrote something I'm sure many of us could easily agree about:
Kevin Ware injury might have finally beat Sid Vicious breaking his leg as the worst injury I wish I'd never seen— JD Harmeyer (@jdharm) March 31, 2013
Ware will be recovering from his broken leg for some time, but at least he can rest easy. Louisville took over in the second half of its game against Duke, winning in convincing fashion by a score of 85-63.
After the game, Bleacher Report tweeted an image of Chane Behanan donning a Ware jersey:
Chane Behanan wearing Kevin Ware's jersey twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 31, 2013
Another famous athlete who can relate to Ware is Eric LeGrand, a football player from Rutgers who now spends most of his life in a wheelchair. He thoughtfully posted this image:
The young man has a long road back before he can play basketball again, but we eagerly anticipate his potential return in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78