When Louisville forward Luke Hancock saw Kevin Ware lying near the sideline with a shattered right leg, he initially recoiled like his teammates. Some Cardinals were vomiting, others were crying and inconsolable.
But then Hancock thought back to last summer, when he suffered a gruesome shoulder injury in a pickup game. He remembered how others were aghast. He remembered how former Louisville guard Andre McGee was the only one to rush to his side, to rush him to the hospital. He remembered how much that had meant.
So as Ware lay there in the first half of the Cardinals’ NCAA tournament victory over Duke on Sunday, scared and alone and stunned, Hancock ran to him. He held Ware’s hand and told him they would get through this together. He told Ware he would say a prayer for him.
Ware didn’t respond at first, because he was in shock. Hancock took a deep breath, closed his eyes, clenched Ware’s hand and started the prayer.
“Lord, watch over us and let Kevin be OK during this tough time,” he began. “The Lord does everything for a reason, and He will get us through this.”
Hancock said he did all he could to keep from breaking down, to keep tears from falling onto his fallen teammate. He found out later that Ware also was trying not to cry, trying to stay strong for him.