Pitino and his son, Richard, spent Monday at the hospital with Ware, who was pictured holding the championship trophy in his bed. Ware later posted a comment on Facebook saying, “the first step is always the hardest one to take” along with a photo of him on crutches.
On Monday, university President James Ramsey described the injury as “heartbreaking” and said Ware will get the best medical care and rehabilitation the university can offer.
Social media has exploded with discussion of Ware’s injury, resulting in words of support from around the country. Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, who also suffered a horrific leg injury on Monday Night Football in 1985 that ended his career, and Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were among those tweeting encouraging words.
On campus, a makeshift tribute was taped to a window in the Student Activities Center, and students filed by and lined up one by one to sign the 3-by-5 foot poster that said, ‘We Stand Behind You, Kevin! Get Well (hash)5!
Ware appreciated the support and said it boosted his mood. In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, he said, “It really brought my spirits up. … And it’s kind of hard to keep your spirits up in a situation like this.”
Ware also told the Courier-Journal that he remembered teammate Luke Hancock comforting him, and being surrounded by other Cardinals immediately after he suffered the injury. During that time Ware said he went into “Kevin mode,” telling his team to win the game.
“When they took me off the court,” Ware told the paper, “I heard so many cheers, and I’m like ‘When I’m out of surgery, there’s gonna be some good news.’ “
Ware’s recollection was not as clear when he woke on Monday morning full of medication, though he said his memory returned upon seeing the championship trophy in his hospital room.