University of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware's gruesome compound leg fracture had NCAA Tournament fans glued to the screen, not to mention his teammates and coach in tears as he told them to win the game against Duke Sunday night.
"The bone's 6 inches out of his leg and all he's yelling is, 'Win the game, win the game,'" said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino after the team's victory Sunday night. "I've not seen that in my life…Pretty special young man."
The team took to Ware's message after he was taken off the court, beating Duke 85-63 in the Midwest Regional at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for a spot in the Final Four next Saturday.
Across social media, professional athletes, college ball colleagues, and sports aficionados alike wished Ware a speedy recovery after the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard went into surgery at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to repair his right leg.
"Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware," tweeted former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who famously sustained a broken leg on "Monday Night Football" in a game against the New York Giants in 1985 when he was tackled by Lawrence Taylor.
"Prayers go out to Kevin Ware. No athlete wants that to happen to anybody," tweeted Michael Jordan
Boston Celtics swingman Terrence Williams couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Ware's bone pop through his skin.
"I'm Sick To My Stomach Now Man...Please Pray For Kevin Ware....." he tweeted.
After his surgery, photos of Ware in the hospital recovering with Louisville's trophy in hand surfaced on social media.
"Looked exactly like my leg senior year of HS…He'll come back even stronger. #Believe," tweeted Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted "Prayers up for Kevin Ware, his teammates, & family."
Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley had Louisville in his thoughts during the game.
"Prayers for the players in Louisville…Omg..I never seen anything like that," he said.
"I've never seen a worse accident in a basketball game. I wish Kevin Ware nothing but the best," said television and radio host Larry King.
Even Duke's Seth Curry took to Twitter to wish his opponent a speedy recovery after the game.
"And my thoughts and prayers to Kevin Ware!," he said.
"May God be with Kevin Ware and his family. Ya in my prayers bro," tweeted Lil Wayne.
Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden had encouraging words for Ware, who will need a year to recover from the injury before getting back on the court.
"Prayers go out to Kevin Ware and his family. Hope you have a speedy recovery. I just hate to see things like that happen. #PrayforWare," he tweeted.