Louisville's Ware to transfer (March 29, 2014)
The stepfather of former Louisville guard and Rockdale County High alum Kevin Ware says the player is transferring to Georgia State.
Wesley Junior told The Associated Press that the 6-foot-2 junior verbally committed to the school after visiting the Atlanta campus on Saturday. Ware announced last month that he would leave the Cardinals to be closer to family in the area.
Ware's decision comes a year after he sustained a gruesome right leg injury in the Midwest Regional final against Duke. The injury made him a sentimental figure in the Cardinals' run to the NCAA championship and an instant celebrity.
Ware recovered enough to make his regular-season debut Nov. 15 against Cornell and drive for a basket on his first touch. However, lingering problems from the injury limited him to nine games.
"He's happy to be close to home and close to family," Junior said, adding that Ware's mother, Lisa, "could be close to him. She couldn't be as close to him because of the drive.
"Now, it's now a 30-minute drive up the street instead of six hours."
Junior said that Ware still has to apply for admission to the school. He's seeking a medical redshirt from the NCAA and would have two seasons of eligibility remaining if granted.
Earlier Saturday, Ware tweeted his appreciation, saying, "I want to thank the entire cardinal organization from the coaches, to the staff, trainers, fans, and anyone who's been a supporter of me."
Ware's injury became a rallying point for the Cardinals, many of whom were seen crying immediately after he went down. Louisville came back to beat the Blue Devils by 20 points and reach the Final Four.
Ware was present for the Cardinals' 82-76 title-game victory over Michigan, a time during which he appeared on talk shows. He even attended last year's White House Correspondents' dinner.
All the while, Ware worked hard toward returning from the injury in which the bone came through his skin. He appeared 220 days after going down in an exhibition game before returning against Cornell to record five points and two rebounds in 13 minutes.
The leg continued giving Ware problems and coach Rick Pitino in December announced plans to shut his guard down for the season.
Junior said that Ware is fully healthy now and eager to resume his career in familiar surroundings.
"He's ready to go today and could play right now if he could," Junior said. "We're just making sure his academics are good and making sure he's ready for the next phase."