Ware was the hero of the game last night and he wasn’t even playing. Is there anything more emotional than having your sudden super star cut the basket? They lowered the hoop for him and he received a standing, or is it a sitting, ovation. The movie played out like it was supposed to, like it had to. Because after a week of universal support from across the country, what other way could Kevin Ware have ended the season? His Louisville teammates delivered the storybook ending, beating Michigan 82-76 in the national championship game at the Georgia Dome on Monday. The teammate who had motivated them throughout the past week relished an unexpected chance to cut down the nets with guys he calls his brothers. I love this kid and I hope he recovers to perfect health next year. I’d like to see him do great things.
“This was a lot bigger to us than a lot of people think, so I wasn’t worried,” Ware said, a pile of confetti at his feet and his crutches on the court.
After each of the players had taken his trip up the ladder to cut down the nets, the basket was lowered. Leaning on his crutches, Ware finished the job.
“They kind of told me last minute, so I really was thankful for that,” Ware said. “It meant everything, honestly. Not being able to play but still being able to cut down the nets, that was big.”
He told his teammates to just win the game, and they did. It was one of a myriad of special memories for Coach Rick Pitino.
“I look back on it and say, ‘that was really, really special.’ I was glad to be part of this team,” Pitino said. “It just happened to us, but it’s really special.”
I’d like to end this with the fact that Louisville won this game against a young Michigan team. Michigan is going to be great next year. The Wolverines will return.