“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Earlier today ESPN released their on camera interview with Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware, his first after breaking his leg during Louisville’s game against Duke on Sunday. In case you haven’t heard (hard to imagine in my NCAA crazed household): Ware suffered an extremely bad break while playing in the game, twisting and breaking his leg in a horrific way. His terrible injury horrified the coaches and both teams, bringing them instantly to hysterical tears and bringing the game to a halt as he was attended to and as players tried to collect themselves. (Warning: Don’t watch the video of this injury that is floating around the internet unless you have an extremely strong stomach, and even then I wouldn’t recommend watching it, as it is heart breaking. And do not encourage your sons to watch it, either. Guaranteed to scare them silly.)
As he lay on the court in shock, Ware kept repeating to his coach and his teammates, “I’m going to be fine. Just go win this game.” The Louisville players pulled themselves together, won the game, and sent the trophy over to Ware’s hospital room so he could see it when he came out of surgery. The very good news is that Ware’s surgery was very successful. He is already out of the hospital and walking on crutches, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Even if you couldn’t care less about basketball (again, hard to imagine these days, but I know that there are some of you out there), you have got to watch Ware’s interview, which you can find here. This is an extraordinarily impressive young man, who has been overwhelmed by the national outpouring of support, but whose calm and centered demeanor shines through. To hear him describe himself as a not very emotional, quiet guy, and then to watch him go on to passionately and eloquently describe his feelings about his teammates and his coach after his ordeal is tremendously moving. While he is still amazed at the extent of his injury, he believes that everything happens for a reason and is prepared to do whatever it takes to return to the court. His grit and determination are inspirational, and brought to mind the wise words of Dr. King.
Show your sons this video as well. Show them this strong young man who is dealing with adversity as we would all want our sons (and ourselves) to: with dignity and grace. Regardless of how the Final Four shakes out, and despite his current challenge, Kevin Ware is already a champion.