2012 had been a year of endurance for Gee-Gees superstar shooting guard Warren Ward. Over a period of ten months, Ward had endured a physical and mental shakeup that any athlete would find difficult. It interrupted what could have been his finest year of basketball since joining the garnet and grey.
On the heels of a strong performance, Warren Ward was averaging 21 points per game through the fall portion of the 2011-12 schedule. On January 6, 2012, in Sudbury, just seven minutes into the game against Laurentian, Ward went down in the paint. At first, team mates and coaches were not aware of the severity of Ward’s injury. But in the coming days, it became clear that the Gee-Gees had lost their leading scorer to a torn ACL.
“There’s good days and there’s bad days when you’re going through a lot of pain,” says Ward amid the soothing bounce of a basketball. “I had to go through all the dark days and just try to stay positive even if I was just faking it to make it. I keep a smile on my face though because really there’s nothing for me to complain about. People have it worse than me.”
Ward had his knee surgically repaired on March 3rd and since then has been climbing back with impressive resolve. “It’s been rough to say the least, but it’s gone by fast. Within the blink of an eye I came from a surgery bed to walking, running, and dunking.”
Six months of intensive physiotherapy took place within that eye blink. When times got tough, a surprisingly introspective Ward says he turned to books and documentaries to give him perspective and change his mindset. He credits books by Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan as well as uOttawa optimal performance coach Raymond Perras as being his touchstones as he re-read, picked out passages, and took notes to incorporate into his recovery goals.
Those mental aspects of the recovery have left the biggest impact. “I have a saying which goes ‘be, do, have’. You have to be a full person first before you can do anything and then you’ll have what you want. The ‘be’ was the biggest part for me this last year – I had to figure out me,” says Ward who on November 30th set the uOttawa all-time record for points scored in a single game (43).
Due to his injuries, Ward had to watch from the sidelines as his teammates played the 2012 Capital Hoops without him. This year he will be on the court of Scotia Bank Place for his fourth and last season of Capital Hoops.
“We are hoping to give the people of Ottawa a good showing. It will be something I will miss but it is a part of the journey. Nothing is forever,” says Ward.
Be part of the biggest regular season game in the country! Show your Gee-Gees pride and cheer Ward and his team on this Wednesday, January 23 as they battle head-to-head against Carleton University. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the client services desk in in the Sports Complex or emailing email@example.com!