Lance Ware and Kareem Watkins are currently in Brazil as they work with Sports Reach for a 10-day outreach trip that combines competition with service to local communities.
During this time, the two Kentucky Wildcats are venturing to the likes of São Paulo, Campinas and Valinhos to compete in at least four games, while also conducting several clinics for local Brazilians.
Thus far, Ware has been a star in Brazil. In his first game, Ware had 39 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals in a 96-93 OT win. Watkins chipped in nine points (3/5 shooting from deep), three assists and three steals.
The following game, Ware had 20 points (7/17 shooting) and 10 boards, while Watkins had nine more points on 3/4 shooting from deep.
While Ware has been shining on the court in Brazil, he’s really been a superstar off of it in terms of his service to others.
According to TJ Beisner, Ware was one of Kentucky’s biggest contributors in community service over the last year. That was part of what Beisner says are the most community service hours logged of any Kentucky team under John Calipari.
According to my calculations, this year's @KentuckyMBB team logged more community engagement/service hours than any other group under Coach Calipari.— TJ Beisner (@tjbeisner) May 19, 2022
Our five leaders in engagement hours: @lanceware55, @Oscartshiebwe34, @brennanc14, @cj_fredrick and @CollinsDaimion
While Kentucky’s frontcourt is already the team’s biggest strength with Oscar Tshiebwe, Daimion Collins, Chris Livingston and Jacob Toppin (assuming he withdraws from the NBA Draft), don’t sleep on Ware’s chances of earning a significant role come this fall.
After all, Ware improved by leaps and bounds in Year 2 after his freshman growing pains.
On multiple occasions, Ware entered the game when Tshiebwe needed a breather or was in foul trouble, and the New Jersey product more than held his own against teams like North Carolina and Kansas.
Now going into Year 3, Ware could be primed for an even bigger jump. He’s obviously getting plenty of run in Brazil as a featured player, something he’s rarely, if ever gotten even in practice since coming to UK.
Then there’s the expected summer Bahamas trip, which figures to see guys like Ware get more run than usual. All of this added practice time should speed up his development and have him ready for a bigger role when the 2022-23 college basketball season begins.