Hours after Kentucky defeated Louisville in the Sweet 16, Kevin Ware followed up the Cardinals disappointment by announcing he was going to transfer to a school closer to home. The Louisville star was not with his team for the tournament game last night at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Ware was the face of the 2013 National Championship Louisville team, not for his scoring, or defense. In the Elite Eight game against Duke, Ware jumped out to attempt to block a shot and landed in a way that caused him to suffer a compound fracture of his right leg. The injury made Ware a household name, and videos of his gruesome injury were replayed over and over again. Louisville rallied around Ware, a sophomore at the time, and went on to win the National Championship.
Seven months after breaking his leg, Ware surprised Louisville fans when he made a return to the court for an exhibition game. There was concern that he may have returned too soon. Louisville coach, Rick Pitino was worried about Ware limping regularly during practices. The coaching staff made a decision in December that Ware was out for the season.
Kevin Ware was not on the Louisville bench when Kentucky defeated them, and was not with the team when he made the announcement that he was going to transfer for his senior season. He did say via his Twitter account that he was bothered all week not playing at Lucas Oil this week. Fans and media had questioned why Ware was not traveling with the team and sitting on the bench with his team during the tournament.
There are a number of factors that may have led to Ware announcing he was going to move to another school. Since being sat on the bench last December. Louisville is flush with talent at the guard position, and it may have been hard for him to move forward with the team. He also would like to be closer to home and his family. This would mean a transfer to a school in Georgia.
It is a positive move for Ware to transfer for his senior season. After the injury in the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the chance for him in the NBA fell to an almost nonexistent level. His limited play time this season did not increase the desire of many NBA teams. If he can transfer to a team that needs a guard, he may be able to show the NBA that his leg is just fine, all while finishing his education.
Trying to jump to the NBA was always a possibility for Ware. There are pre-draft combines that Ware could have attended to prove that he was ready for the NBA, however an 82 game regular season is a lot more basketball than Ware has seen from the court over the last two seasons since breaking his leg.
It was disappointing that Ware did not travel with his team after being benched, supporting them like they supported him last year after his devastating injury. And it was a disappointing move by Kevin Ware to announce that he was going to transfer from Louisville just hours after Kentucky defeated them.
Commentary by Carl Auer