Former Buckeye Aaron Craft staying strong in Italy

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Former Ohio State Buckeye Aaron Craft and his family have been in Trento, Italy during the coronavirus outbreak. He plays for one of the professional teams in the area, which was still competing in earlier this month.

Trento is about 105 miles from the Lombardy region where the virus continues to take a deadly toll, but Craft is making the most of his situation. 

“Honestly it’s been a great place. The people have been great to us,” he said. “My son was born here last year so this city will always have a part of the Craft family.” 

That comfort has been tested during recent weeks as the coronavirus spreads two hours from his home. 

“It was a slow progression. Things happened in the States really fast like in 24 hours everything was cancelled,” he said. “We actually played a game in Belgrade, Serbia at the beginning of March.” 

Games started to get cancelled after that, but Craft said the team still practiced for about a week with no idea if or when they would play again.

“Every day for awhile it was like, ‘Okay, what’s going to happen?’ Craft said. “I think we are in day nine now. Day nine of lock down, quarantine.” 

Craft says grocery stores and pharmacies are still open in a country where 627 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. On Thursday, Italy surpassed China as the nation with the most COVID-19-related deaths. The total now stands at 4,032.

The travel bans are also getting more serious as Craft says his American teammates are coming back to the Unites States as soon as possible for fear of being stuck in Trento indefinitely. 

“That sent some ripples through this household,” he said. “We decided to stay, that it would be in our best interest to stay health wise, from a contract perspective, but it’s not easy.” 

Craft believes staying sane during this time is all about perspective and that’s something he’s focusing on one day at a time. 

“What can we get out of this with our extra time at home?” Craft asks. “That’s a big question that my wife and I keep asking ourselves. What can we be doing together? What can we be doing for our marriage? What can we be doing for [our son] Owen?” 

He added one benefit to being home right now is seeing the milestones Owen is making. He’s almost walking so Craft is excited to be a part of things he may have missed while traveling for basketball. 

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