55 Lance Ware

Name
Position
Forward
Class
JR
Hometown (Last School)
Camden, NJ (Camden)
Ht
6'9"
Wt
223
Seasons
2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23
Birthday
February 8, 2001

was born February 8, 2001, in Edgewater Park, New Jersey to Monique Ripka and Stephen Ware.  He has two siblings: Shataya and Stefon.

Ware led his high school team to a 29-1 record his senior season where he averaged 11.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks for a team that won its final 25 games.  His squad claimed the South Jersey, Group 2 championship and the No. 1 spot in the final NJ.com Top 50 rankings.  Ware was named the NJ.com Player of the Year and was a NJ.com All-State First Team selection.  He averaged 11.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game during the Elite Youth Basketball League in 2019.  He also performed well at the Peach Jam finals in 2019, averaging 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.  He was a four-star prospect ranked as high as No. 36 in the class by Rivals.

Kentucky has been Ware’s “dream school” since he took a a visit to the campus in Lexington as an eighth grader.  At a news conference at Big Picture Learning Academy in the Parkside section of Camden on September 12, 2019, Ware declared his commitment to Kentucky, then took off his sweatshirt to reveal a blue Kentucky T-shirt.  Ware chose Kentucky over Michigan, Ohio State, Providence and Miami.  In the end, Ware said he had to decide between Kentucky and Michigan.

During his freshman year, Ware was a key reserve for the Wildcats who added physicality and quality rebounding.  He appeared in 21 games and made three starts.  Ware scored 41 points, hauled in 63 rebounds, totaled 11 blocks, corralled six steals, and dished out eight assists.  He led the team in rebounds in two games and in blocks twice.  Ware had five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in his collegiate debut against Morehead State on November 25, 2020.  On December 6, 2020, he scored his first career point with a free throw against Georgia Tech.  Ware’s breakout game came on December 19, 2020, against No. 22/21 North Carolina with four points, seven rebounds, and two steals in 21 minutes of action.  He notched four points, a career-high 13 rebounds and a career-best four assists in the double-overtime win at on January 2, 2021.  On February 3, 2021, he played 29 minutes and recorded a career-high eight points, 10 rebounds and a career-high three blocks at No. 18/17 Missouri.

During his sophomore year, Ware was named to the 2021-22 Community Service Team.  He appeared in 28 games in his second season with the Wildcats and missed three due to injury.  Ware registered career highs in points (42), blocks (11) and field-goal percentage (66.7%).  He led the team in blocks in four games. On January 29, 2022, Ware tallied four points and four rebounds in 10 highly effective minutes at Kansas.  He played a season-high 16 minutes and snared six rebounds in the SEC Tournament semifinals vs. Tennessee on March 12, 2022.

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