Complete strangers cried after watching Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware fall to the floor with a hideous compound fracture Sunday during the Cardinals’ NCAA Tournament victory over Duke.

TV viewers all over the world recoiled in horror.

Imagine being Ware’s father.

Kevin Ware Sr., a former basketball player at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, was relieved to learn Monday that his son was up and walking on crutches after successful surgery in Indianapolis. Kevin Ware Jr. told his dad in a phone conversation early Monday morning that he was primarily concerned about his Final Four-bound teammates.

“That was the moment that really broke me,” Kevin Ware Sr., a Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee in New York, told USA Today. “Like, ‘Wow, my kid is my hero.’”

Ware Jr. has become a national story transcending sports.

Closer to home, former Stratford head coach Scott Ruggles, sparked Lowcountry support and prayers with a Facebook post about Kevin Ware Sr.:

“One of the greatest privileges I have Coaching at Stratford are the relationships that are formed, in 30 years I feel like I have hundreds of sons daughters, nieces and nephews. I want to offer my most sincerest prayers to the young man who was hurt at Louisville in the game vs. Duke. The young man is the son of a former player at Stratford. Kevin Ware, while at Stratford was a first class young man. I know his strength, his faith, will help him as his son gets better. In the world of sports we cloud ourselves with being a fan, but this is a young man, and the father of young man who must comfort him. My best wished and Prayers, and I hope I speak for the entire Stratford family our love and prayers”

Reach Gene Sapakoff at 937-5593 or on Twitter @sapakoff