On March 31, 2013, Kevin Ware broke his leg during Louisville’s Elite Eight game against Duke and in the process, became a household name. If you weren’t watching that contest live–or even a basketball fan in general–you heard about Ware’s gruesome injury.
On March 29, 2014, Louisville announced that Ware would be transferring.
What happened over that 12-month span that led to Ware making the decision to depart from Rick Pitino’s program?
— cjnews (@cjnews) April 30, 2014
In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, Ware detailed what had been going on in his life that led to him leaving.
Initially it was flattering. But then it became suffocating. On campus, Ware sought out hidden routes to classes and the gym so he could avoid inevitable questions about the leg, and pictures with the leg, and everything about the leg.
“I stayed in my room as much as I could, honestly,” he said. “If I didn’t have to leave the house or be somewhere, I’d just stay in and watch Netflix. Everybody always asking, everybody wanting to have conversations about it. Like, why can’t we just have a conversation about basketball?”
Ware received attention after missing a Nov. 18 court date for a reckless-driving charge. On Dec. 17 he was sidelined after being kicked in his repaired right leg during a game against Missouri State. After working diligently to return, he admits he was so frustrated by that setback that he handled it poorly.
“It was a bad year, honestly,” Ware said. “I feel like I was mentally a lot stronger when I knew I could come back, and when I got hit again and (coaches and trainers) were saying I might want to sit out, it was just a lot of disappointment. Just sitting there not being able to help, not being able to do too much except be vocal. And that sucked. It really got to a point where I was just like, ‘Man, this is crazy.’ I was out of it mentally.”
“I just feel like me leaving is a fresh start,” Ware said. “I know a lot of people think of me and think of the leg. But, I mean, I play basketball. I don’t want to be known as a guy who just played for Louisville and got hurt.”