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Ware gets GSU career underway

Kevin Ware’s career at Georgia State began this week. The former Rockdale basketball stand out who transferred to the Atlanta school after two seasons at Louisville, participated in the Panthers’ first summer workout Monday.

Ware, a redshirt-junior who played in just nine games this past season at Louisville, due in large part to recovering from surgery to repair a broken right tibia he suffered in the 2013 NCAA Regional Final against Duke, joins the defending Sun Belt champion Panthers for his final two collegiate seasons.

Ware, a 6-2, 175-pound guard, will have to compete for playing time in a strong Panthers’ backcourt that includes Sun Belt player of the year and rising junior R.J. Hunter and senior Ryan Harrow.

Georgia State won its first conference title since 2001-2002 with the regular season Sun Belt crown in 2014, though the 25-win season ended in disappointment with an 82-81 loss in overtime to Louisiana-Lafayette in the league title game.

“It was great to be back out on the court this morning,” Georgia State coach Ron Hunter told georgiastatesports.com. “It feels like just yesterday that last season ended, but a lot of work has been put in by the players and coaches since that time to prepare for today. The returners are hungry to get ourselves back in position to win another championship and the newcomers want to taste that same success. I can already see that they are going to be a great group and I look forward to working with them.”

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Ware since graduating from Rockdale after the 2010-2011 team reached the Class AAAA state championship game. He originally committed at Tennessee, then Central Florida, but wound up at Louisville where he joined the 2011-2012 team mid-season, then helped the Cardinals win the national title as a redshirt-freshman and reach the regional semifinals a year ago.

Ware isn’t the only newcomer on the roster as fellow transfers Jeremy Hollowell (Indiana) and Jalen Brown (South Suburban College in Illinois), incoming freshmen Jeff Thomas and Jordan Session and walk-on freshmen Corey Tobin and Carter Cagle all put on the blue and white for the first time.

“We were fortunate to bring in a very talented group of young men,” Hunter said. “Everyone knows that they are going to have to work hard to earn playing time. That process started today.”

Per NCAA rules, the team will continue to practice throughout the summer and the workouts will culminate with a trip to Costa Rica in August where the team will play four games and also distribute shoes for the Samaritan’s Feet program.