Ohio State's Aaron Craft on potentially playing in next TBT: 'We'll see'

Adam Jardy
Buckeye Xtra
Scarlet & Gray's Aaron Craft (4) takes a shot around Matadorss Quincy Diggs (13) during The Basketball Tournament second-round game at Capital University in Columbus on July 22, 2018. Team Scarlet & Gray won 82-73.

Right now, the world of medical school and family life has the undivided attention of Aaron Craft.

This summer could be a different story. Seven months after Carmen’s Crew suffered a first-game exit in The Basketball Tournament that he said going in would be the final chapter of his professional playing career, Craft is not ruling out a return to the court this summer presuming the event is able to take place.

“We’ll see,” Craft told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “I do have the summer off. I will say that. It’s my last full summer off, so we’ll see if it (TBT) can move forward and where this whole pandemic thing is leading us toward.”

Last July, the Carmen’s Crew team comprised primarily of former Ohio State players entered TBT as the top overall seed before taking an upset loss. Afterward, asked to speak definitively about whether he would be back next summer, Craft said, “I have no idea. I can’t say yes. I definitely can’t say no.”

Not long afterward, Craft began life as a med school student and began settling into a new lifestyle after having spent the previous six years playing overseas. Along with his wife, Amber, and 2-year-old son, Owen, the Craft family is putting down roots in Central Ohio and preparing for the next phase of life.

The end result of that will be a career Craft can start when he’s in his mid-30s. It meant ending his basketball career with a few years still in the tank, but the love for the game has remained. During the pandemic, Craft said he was seeking out opportunities to play, a change from the typical open gym opportunities Ohio State affords its alumni.

“It was really weird forcibly trying to find a gym to go work out in this summer,” Craft said. “It was very interesting. I have played a couple times though since the TBT and it still feels pretty good, so.

“I don’t know what it would require for me to get back into shape.”

For now, Craft’s primary focus is on trying to process all the information med school is throwing at him. Whenever he can get away and return to the court, Craft said he enjoys the opportunity to play.

“I will say, man, it feels good to be able to step on a court right now, mostly because I think I just know what I’m doing,” he said. “It’s a comfortable space, and med school is constantly telling me stuff that I don’t know. That part feels really good.”

TBT is expected to announce information about this year's event sometime in March. Last year, it was able to host the first professional basketball tournament since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic while playing in a controlled, bubble environment in downtown Columbus.