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Character on the court : Two Louisville players showed it

Genuine courage was revealed on Easter Sunday - in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

In the first half of the Midwest Regional final, Louisville guard Kevin Ware landed badly and instantly snapped his right fibula in half. He collapsed in front of his bench, his bone exposed, his teammates horrified.

As Louisville players and coaches gasped, collapsed, and turned away, one player had the presence of mind, the coolness, to run to his broken friend's aid. Louisville reserve Luke Hancock knelt, put his hand gently on Ware's chest, and comforted his teammate as others looked on in shock. In a tournament full of dazzling moments, nearly every one described as "unbelievable" by overexcited commentators, this was one truly unforgettable act. Following Hancock's lead, other teammates composed themselves and came over to hold Ware's hands.

From all accounts, Ware turned the focus immediately back to the game. With a bone poking out of his skin, he told his teammates that he was OK, not to worry about him, and to go on and win the game for him. They went scoreless for three minutes. Then they demolished the overmatched Duke team by 22.

Sports is supposed to build character. That is what the coaches always say. Whether it was nurtured or natural, Kevin Ware and Luke Hancock showed real character under the most trying of athletic circumstances on Sunday. No one who was watching will ever forget it.


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