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Finals Watch: 'Great motivator'

Thursday - 4/4/2013, 4:39pm  ET

AP10ThingsToSee - Trainers check on Louisville guard Kevin Ware after he broke his leg during the first half of the Midwest Regional final against Duke in an NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

ATLANTA (AP) -- Louisville's 'great motivator'

Kevin Ware is from Rockdale County High School, about 40 minutes east of Atlanta, and he has returned to Georgia a sudden celebrity.

Ware, Louisville's sophomore guard, suffered gruesome compound fractures in his right leg in Sunday's Midwest Regional final win over Duke that sent the Cardinals to the Final Four. He had successful surgery and flew with the team to Atlanta.

Coach Rick Pitino says he's proud of the way Ware and his teammates have handled the shocking injury.

"I think it's going to be a great motivator for us," Pitino said Thursday. "I don't think I've ever been more proud of a group of young men the way they acted and cried their brains out for Kevin, and then the way Kevin got them together and the way he reacted.

"Now we are refocused. Kevin's with us."

And Ware is a celebrity.

"He's doing David Letterman's top 10," Pitino said before adding with a laugh "I don't know if he has time for us."

-- Charles Odum -- http://twitter.com/CharlesOdum

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NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press from across Atlanta. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.


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