KevinWare

Louisville guard Kevin Ware visits injured 14-year old

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Just over a week ago, Louisville guard Kevin Ware made an appearance at a stop on the athletic department’s “Cardinal Caravan” tour.

What came as a surprise to many was the fact that Ware was walking without the aid of crutches just two months after suffering a terrible leg injury in Louisville’s Midwest regional final game against Duke.

In what was a chilling moment for all involved, Ware provided the motivational spark his teammates needed as he implored them to go win the game. It was a selfless act to say the least, and Louisville would go on to heed Ware’s words (85-63 win over the Blue Devils) on their way to the program’s third national title.

During his appearance at Captain’s Quarters, Ware said the following to the Louisville Courier-Journal about using his position to help others in need:

“A guy wrote me from in jail and wanted me to reach out to his brother,” Ware said. “People like that I don’t have a problem at all, just trying to do something for them when they’re trying to do something for me. So many people just really show so much support, that has to humble you.”

The latest example of Ware reaching out to those in need occurred Thursday, when he visited 14-year old Brianna Boel at Kosair’s Childrens Hospital Thursday afternoon. Boel was one of two teenagers hit by a car in Louisville, suffering a fractured skull, wrist and right leg as a result. According to reports, the second victim’s injuries were not as severe.

Boel’s father, News 3 anchor John Boel, wrote on his Facebook page that he used Ware’s example to calm his daughter.

“I played the Kevin Ware card in trying to relax Bree,” John wrote, “reminding her what he was able to accomplish right away, and I was surprised at how well it worked. Thank you Kevin, one more time, for your inspiration in the real world.”

And after hearing Boel’s story there was Ware, cheering her up and even signing the following message on her cast: “Pinky promise. You will be fine.”

h/t Matt Norlander

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: