LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville held a press conference with injured U of L guard Kevin Ware Wednesday afternoon.
Coach Rick Pitino told the assembled media that he couldn't have been more proud of Ware, calling him the epitome of the team's one-word goal: humility.
He also recalled the shock he felt when he first saw Ware's broken leg Sunday night.
"It was a terrible sight to see," he said. "I haven't seen anything like that in my 100 years of coaching."
He said he didn't know when Ware's basketball career would resume, adding that he's going to have "a long road back," but said the team could "exhale a bit" now that they know surgery had gone okay.
Pitino said Ware had received a number of well-wishes, including encouragement from U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who contacted Ware while he was in the hospital. Pitino said he told Ware, "The President is pretty cool -- but Michelle Obama? She's the real thing, Kevin."
Ware himself also appeared at the press conference, sporting crutches. He said he received "a ton of support" from his home town, and had been contacted by a number of his high school friends, who offered their support.
He also described a tender moment when he reunited with his team during a practice on Tuesday afternoon.
"It was amazing, honestly," he told the media, describing it as a "brothers moment."
"I saw Chane (Behanan), and as soon as we saw each other, tears just started coming down," he added. "It was just that kind of bond, you know?"
He said he'd been "touched by everyone" and acknowledged his status as a role model, adding that he's heard from others who have suffered dramatic injuries.
"People are really taking note of how I handled the situation," he said.
Coach Pitino threw in his support of Ware's ability to thrive under tremendous physical pain.
"I don't know any athlete who could do what he did," Pitino said. "I'm sure he's never going to want to watch it again."
"Kevin was very quiet," Pitino added. "In the last month, he's taken on a leadership role. He's come out of his shell. And it's helped him. And this experience will help him as well."
Even Ware's mother was there to share the triumphant moment.
"I couldn't be any prouder," she said.
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