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Ware cheers courtside at Final Four
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 6, 2013 @ 7:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Rachel George, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA — One by one, the Louisville players came to the end of the court. Their teammate was there, Kevin Ware sitting next to the elevated platform at the Georgia Dome.
The Cardinals’ five starters shook hands or bumped fists with Ware, whose horrific injury in last Sunday’s Midwest Region final galvanized the team and captivated the country.
Not far from his home outside of Atlanta, Ware prepared to watch as top-seeded Louisville face ninth-seeded Wichita State in the Final Four semifinal on Saturday night.
After the lineups had been read, the team huddle around Ware at the end of the court.
The reserve guard broke his leg early in the regional final, an injury that prompted an immediate emotional reaction from his teammates. Best friend Chane Behanan cried. So did Russ Smith. So did coach Rick Pitino.
Ware’s response – settling his teammates down by telling them to win the game – made him national news for the week leading up to the Final Four.
He’s been on almost every major network. He read David Letterman’s “Top Ten” list this week. And a shirt made by adidas became controversial. The Cardinals wear adidas apparel, which has included warm-up shirts that say “Rise To The Occasion.”
Early this week, t-shirts went on sale on the school website for $24.99 that said “Ri5e To The Occasion” in reference to Ware’s jersey number. The school initially said it would not profit off the shirt, but on Friday USA TODAY Sports broke the news that adidas would stop selling them amid an outcry that the company was profiting of Ware’s injury.
The team wore shirts with Ware’s number in the slogan during warm-ups.… [For more on Kevin Ware cheers from courtside at the Final Four, click here.]
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