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Crew transporting Ware stayed calm
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 2, 2013 @ 10:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Zak Keefer and Shari Rudavsky, USA TODAY Sports
Ralph Reiff and his crew got the call when Louisville players sunk to the court Sunday afternoon, the sight of their teammate’s bone jutting six inches from his leg too much to grasp.
A moment later, Reiff, director of sports medicine at St. Vincent Hospital, hovered above Kevin Ware as he lay helpless on the Lucas Oil Stadium floor with a compound fracture of his right leg. Reiff quickly asked the Cardinals’ bench for towels, hoping to shield the gruesome injury from prying eyes and cameras.
Reiff’s team helped place Ware’s mangled leg in a splint and lifted him on a gurney. About 10 minutes later, Ware was on his way to Methodist Hospital.
An hour after Louisville clinched a trip to the Final Four, Ware underwent successful surgery. By Monday morning, he was moving around on crutches, already planning a trip to his hometown of Atlanta this weekend to watch his teammates chase a national title.
Credit Reiff’s crew — four physicians, eight athletic trainers — with an assist.
“What you saw (Sunday) was everything we’d rehearsed, every single day, leading up to the event,” said Reiff, who often runs the emergency medical crew at major sports events in Indianapolis. “You have a switch, and you do what you need to do.”
The “switch” for Reiff went on when Louisville head trainer Fred Hina raised his hand after rushing to Ware’s side.
“These are things that are put into place and are well thought through,” said Jeanne Boyd, managing director of the NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball championship.
Reiff’s crew – all volunteers, including Reiff – had run through possible scenarios each day they’d been on site at Lucas Oil Stadium. The team was responsible only for incidents on the floor. Separate medical personnel was present for fans.
“It was probably better this happened on Sunday rather than Thursday because our whole team had spent four days together,” said Reiff, a veteran of three Final Fours in Indianapolis and nearly a dozen notable sports events, including the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
While Ware grimaced in pain, it was quickly determined Hina would be the point man. He ordered … [For more on Crew transporting Kevin Ware stayed calm amid tears, shock, click here.]
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