LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Eight to ten weeks for his bone to heal, after that Kevin Ware is not sure when he can return to the basketball court.
Louisville Sophomore Guard Kevin Ware sat down with local and national media Wednesday afternoon for the first time since he broke his leg on national TV in the Elite 8 matchup against Duke.
Ware said he wants the fans to know he's going to be okay and is amazed at the outpouring of support. So is his coach Rick Pitino and mother Lisa Junior. Both couldn't believe all the personal well-wishes he's received in the last few days.
"You're the coolest guy I know in Louisville," said Pitino when he learned First Lady Michelle Obama called Ware. "I said the President's pretty cool, but Michelle Obama she's the real thing, now. Kevin that was unbelievable."
While that call also impressed Ware's mom, it was a call from Kobe Bryant that Ware said left him speechless. "It doesn't matter how old you are or what the situation is everybody cares. That really touched me."
Ware explained the play he where he went down was one he experienced with the very same Duke player when the two teams met in an early season tournament in the Bahamas. "When I went to contest the shot it was like I normally do. I kind of jumped like I should have blocked the shot because I jumped so high, but I guess I just landed wrong and I didn't see where I landed so that's what caused the injury."
It wasn't until Coach Pitino came over, gave an odd look and Ware saw his bone sticking six inches out of his leg that Ware said he realize what happened, but even then, "I kind of felt like stuff like this doesn't happen for no reason. There's a reason behind everything, so I'll soon find out the reason will be. It's just a process I'm ready for."
Ware's first mission was making sure his team knew they had to keep going. "What was going through my head? I'm going to cry. My team's going to be devastated and we won't win this game or I'll just try to say some words that will get us through and they beat Duke by 22, so I think my words got through good enough."
Ware hasn't set a timeline for when he will be back with on the court again, so he's found a new hobby named after his injury. "Yeah. Scar. It's a little pit bull," he told the group while Coach Pitino smiled and covered his face.
"We have a connection already. We're like best friends. I felt like I'm going to need something to do, someone to entertain and I felt a dog was perfect for that situation."
This weekend though, someone will have to baby sit for Ware because he will be with his team in Atlanta. This time he says he doesn't have any words of encouragement. "I don't think I have to tell them anything honestly. I think they'll just look over to the bench and see me sitting there. That will be all the motivation we need."
Ware said he didn't even know the team was headed to the Final Four until Monday. He said he was so medicated from his surgery he doesn't even remember Pitino visiting him in the hospital.
Louisville plays Wichita State Saturday.
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