CRAWFORD | 'I miss being a Cardinal,' Kevin Ware opens up in new - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | 'I miss being a Cardinal,' Kevin Ware opens up in new piece

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Photo Illustration from ThePlayersTribune.com Photo Illustration from ThePlayersTribune.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Kevin Ware didn’t hear his name called in last night’s NBA Draft. But he did make headlines.

Ware has penned a lengthy essay for The Players' Tribune, an Internet publication designed to give players a direct forum for thoughts and reflections.

In a piece titled, “Remember Me,” Ware reflects on his gruesome injury in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the celebrity that followed, and then his struggles to escape the shadows of that event. An excerpt of his discussion of the aftermath of that injury:

It was such a crazy couple of weeks. I was all over TV, getting interviewed and meeting celebrities. It was surreal. After the national championship, the interviews and appearances kept up for a few days, but they eventually died down.

On campus, I was a celebrity in my own right. That didn’t die down. I was getting mobbed by people at the mall and everywhere else. And all anybody wanted to talk about was my leg.

It’s like I wasn’t Kevin Ware, the basketball player, anymore.

I was Kevin Ware, the guy who broke his leg.

After a while, it really started to bother me — all the attention, people wanting to talk to me everywhere I went. I had to start sneaking around campus, taking back ways to classes or the gym. I didn’t realize the impact that my injury had had on other people or on my status on campus. I spent most of my time in my room watching Netflix, avoiding all the fuss.

But Ware said it wasn’t only off the court where he struggled to move past the injury. He said Louisville coach Rick Pitino handled him differently, wasn’t as demanding. Teammates “started playing soft against me, like they were afraid they were gonna hurt me.”

Of his transfer, Ware said, “Leaving Louisville was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. I mean, college is supposed to be a place where you grow up and find yourself and learn who you are and what you’re made of. I did that at Louisville. I made great friends on and off the basketball court. I won a national championship. I became a celebrity, a better person and a better student. I’ll always cherish my time at Louisville and the people I met there.”

He wound up back home in Atlanta, playing for Georgia State, and part of another NCAA Tournament run.

He was home, he was playing, and most of all, Ware said, he felt like a basketball player again.

In the end, Ware says, he did finally watch the video of his injury. Only once. But he regrets the way his career at Louisville ended. “I miss being a Cardinal,” he writes.

And he’s looking forward to continuing his career, wherever that opportunity might be.

It’s a good, introspective piece. You can read it in its entirety here.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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