Kevin Ware leg

Kevin Ware leg
Kevin Ware leg, The Louisville power forward's broad shoulders heaved as he sobbed. Teammate Russ Smith wept openly as well. Assistant coach Wyking Jones bolted off the bench, hands on his head, in horror. Head coach Rick Pitino wiped away tears. Luke Hancock was the only Cardinals player who could bear to be near the awful sight in front of the team's bench, coming to the side of his fallen teammate.

A sudden pall fell over Lucas Oil Stadium. An electric NCAA tournament atmosphere turned into a trauma scene.

 Guard Kevin Ware lay on the hardwood with his right leg mangled. After challenging a 3-point shot by Duke's Tyler Thornton in the first half of the Midwest regional, Ware landed awkwardly and gruesomely broke his tibia. It was a compound fracture, bone protruding far through the skin, which Ware looked down and saw. It was the ugliest thing most anyone in the gym had ever seen in person on a basketball court.

The snap of the leg was so loud that Smith heard it.

"It was really hard for me to pull myself together," Smith said, "because I didn't ever think in a million years I would see something like that."

The sight of the bone was unreal but unmistakable.

"Literally out," Behanan said. "I saw white."

It was that graphic, that awful, and because of the raised court it was at virtual eye level for everyone on the bench. Trainer Fred Hina jumped up to comfort Ware and cover the injury with a towel, then started emergency first aid.

"It is probably one of the more gruesome things you'll witness," said Hina, comparing it to compound leg fractures suffered by football players Joe Theismann and Tim Krumrie.

[Slideshow: Players, coaches react to Kevin Ware's gruesome injury]

Yet in the midst of his agony, Ware did the most remarkable thing. Courageously, selflessly, he thought of his teammates.

The stoic, soft-spoken sophomore from outside Atlanta told coach Rick Pitino over and over, "Just win the game. I'm OK. Just win the game."

Pitino urgently called his grief-stricken players over to listen to Ware. As they closed in around him, the coach placed a hand on Ware's right arm. Peyton Siva held Ware's right hand. Wayne Blackshear held his left.

Ware looked up at his teammates and said it five more times.

"Just win the game. I'm OK. Just win the game."

Read more: yahoo
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