BISMARCK, N.D. - Century's Lauren Ware is one of the greatest athletes in the history of North Dakota.
In the last two years, Ware has led the Patriots to back-to-back state championships in both volleyball and basketball. Ware, now in her senior season, use to lead the Patriots on the floor, but is now adapting to a new role.
It's remarkable for a student-athlete to win the Gatorade player of the year award in multiple sports in the same year. She won for both basketball and volleyball as a junior.
Ware's senior season was over before it started when she tore her ACL at a summer volleyball tournament in late July.
"It definitely puts a lot of things in perspective. I think a lot of times people take things for granted and just with this injury just makes you realize how important every day is, just like being able to play a sport that I love and with the people that are so important to me, and everything like that, so just cherishing every day," said Ware.
The Patriots miss their captain, but Jamie Zastoupil's coaching staff gained another mentor on the sidelines.
"We have her in practice helping us coach. We have her on the bench looking at different things talking with the middles. I think that this is going to change her game because she has to become a student of the game, you know, she has all the athletic ability, and the talent, and the size, but now she has to be student of the game and I think that's going to help her down the road," said Zastoupil, Century Volleyball head coach.
ESPN ranks Ware as a five star recruit and the 30th overall basketball prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. Ware has committed to Arizona where she plans play volleyball and basketball. Lauren says the continuity within the Wildcats program was the deciding factor.
"I think key for Lauren wanting to play both sports in college she had to feel that connection with both volleyball and basketball and that's what was hard to find, you know. Looking at the schools and talking to these coaches, she liked all of them but it was just that one thing that she needed where that connection had to happen," said Zastoupil,
" Not many people have done it. People have done it in the past, but it’s not as common in this time, but they said it would be a struggle, but I think they made it seem like it wouldn't be as hard and they have the resources to help me and I think it'll be an easier process for me with just doing it at Arizona and it was a good fit for me," said Ware.
She is the second-highest ranked recruit Arizona has ever landed.