TRENTO, ITALY - MAY 29: Aaron Craft of Dolomiti Energia Trentino handles the ball against during LegaBasket Serie A Playoffs match 3 beetwen Dolomiti Energia Trentino and EA7 Emporio Armani Milano at PalaTrento on May 29, 2017 in Trento, Italy. (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Photo: Dino Panato/Getty Images
Photo: Dino Panato/Getty Images

Former Buckeye Aaron Craft shares update on dealing with coronavirus in Italy

While people in the United States deal with daily updates to restrictive policies intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus here, a prominent former Ohio State athlete is living through the type of situation officials at home are hoping to avoid. 

Two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Craft, who suited up for the Buckeyes from 2011-14 and is playing out his pro career in Italy, shared an update from one of the countries hit worst by the global pandemic. 

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“We’re doing well. We’re doing fine,” he said. “Not that we haven’t had our moments of panic, but we plan on staying here and riding this thing out. Obeying the laws and restrictions that are in place.” 

Playing for Aquila Basketball Trento for a second season, Craft said he is about two and a half hours north of the region where the coronavirus has hit Italy the worst. 

According to The Associated Press, Italy is the hardest-hit European country, having already reported 28,000 cases and 2,158 deaths.

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After games were postponed and team events canceled, Craft said the people there are living under a lockdown that has left only groceries and pharmacies open. 

“We’re able to go outside and walk and have a good time there,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to the family time that we can have over these next 14 days and we’re also very, very happy about the precautions that are in place and the adherence to them by all those around us. They are helping keep us safe.”

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Likely aware of the frustration being expressed by many Americans as political leaders have brought some of the movement and business restrictions stateside, Craft had another message. 

“I understand how you’re feeling,” he said. “I plan on this being my last season of basketball, and I thought I had 11 games left to really finish strong. However it’s not really looking like I’m gonna get the opportunity to end it the way I hope. 

“But it’s times like this I’m so glad that my hope, my identity and my value is not based on my basketball skill, the last game I played or future performance. And I’m so grateful that God assigns me my value and identity and gives me hope through his son Jesus and not based on anything that I do. I pray that you have this hope, too. Let’s all stay safe and let’s get through this together.” 

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