Kevin Ware had one of the most gruesome and traumatizing injuries in sports history Sunday, and is now on his way to recovery.
The former Rockdale guard and one of the top players off Louisville's bench had successful surgery at Methodist hospital in Indianapolis late Sunday, and his injury and recovery have been the talk of not only the NCAA Tournament and the sports world as a whole, but much of the nation as well.
Photos of Louisville players bringing Ware the Midwest Regional championship trophy in his hospital bed went viral and were tweeted by such names as Tim Tebow and Lebron James, who said "Prayers goes out to Kevin Ware and his family! May u have a speedy recovery kid and come back even stronger!" on his Twitter account.
Thousands of similar sentiments were expressed to Ware following the horrifying moments of the first half of Louisville's Elite 8 matchup against Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
After contesting Tyler Thornton's 3-point shot with 6:33 left in the first half, Ware snapped his right leg in a sight too gruesome for details, causing the game not only to stop for nine minutes, but also for his teammates and coaches to show a lot of emotion.
Louisville players clutched their faces, laying on the court,coach Rick Pitino was crying, fans were yelling "no" and chanting "K-Ware."
It was a scene of a bond Ware had formed with his fellow Cardinals that some in Rockdale may know about when he helped the Bulldogs reach their first finals appearance since 1989.
"They're one big family up there," Rockdale coach Alvin Williams said. "They get a long really, really well and they love each other. If he's hurt, of course they're going to hurt."
While his teammates were in tears, however, Ware remained adamant they remained focused.
"I don't think we could have gathered ourselves - I know I couldn't have - if Kevin didn't say over and over again, 'Just go win the game,'" Pitino told the Associated Press. "I don't think we could have gone in the locker room with a loss after seeing that. We had to gather ourselves. We couldn't lose this game for him.
"We just couldn't."
Other reports detailing a conference call with Pitino Monday morning said Ware didn't get emotional until he heard his teammates talking about him during the post-game press conference.
Williams said that's the type of teammate and person Ware is, always working hard and always tough.
"Kevin, mentally is a tough person," Williams said. "I spoke with him (Monday) morning and the last words he spoke to me were, ‘Coach, I'll be alright, don't worry.' He's a mentally tough individual and in good spirits.
Ware will have an estimated year of recovery before he can get back to playing for the Cardinals again. He is expected to be with the team when it takes on Wichita State at 6:09 p.m. Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
In the meantime, Ware has been busy answering dozens and dozens of well-wishers on Twitter, thanking people such as the NCAA president, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Lil Wayne and others.
"Again I'm thankful for all the support I'm receiving right now," Ware said on Twitter. "Never thought I'd be the talk of the country."