There are a lot of things that make Aaron Craft a great point guard.
His leadership, his knowledge of the game, his knack for making big plays. He’s an excellent passer and he protects the ball. There’s also an argument to make that he’s the most influential defender in college basketball with Anthony Davis on his way to New Orleans.
In fact, as Craft’s jump shot continues to improve, I think it is fair to say that he’s about as close as you can get to being the ideal collegiate point guard.
But what defines Craft goes beyond what he’s able to do on the basketball court: it is his toughness and his competitiveness. And perhaps nothing is a better example of this than the surgery that Craft went through last month:
Since high school, the Ohio State point guard has had a bone chip floating in his left ankle, his father said.
“If he turned the ankle wrong just a certain way, that small piece of bone would get jammed back on his tibia and it would cause excruciating pain,” John Craft said.
It was the reason Aaron was seen pulling up with a limp in some games last season, then recovering quickly and playing on as if nothing had happened.
“Part of that is the competitor in him,” his father said.
But the competitor in Aaron also resisted the encouragement of team doctors, trainers and coaches to get the problem fixed. In May, John Craft said coach Thad Matta called him and asked if he could persuade Aaron to have surgery just so he would take two weeks off from working on his game.
Craft went under the knife on June 18th to remove the bone chip and three bone spurs, and he has been in a cast and on crutches since. That changes on Tuesday, as he will be fitted for a walking boot that he’ll need to keep on for three or four weeks.