This is not the first time this offseason we will discuss the unique mental makeup that defines Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft. He's a rare bird. Not only is he an excellent collegiate basketball player (hands down the best perimeter defender in the country), a scholastic whiz kid (and recipient of the prestigious Elite 89 Award) and a generally humorous dude, well-versed in the dark arts of self-effacement and sarcasm. He's also, as evidenced by his decision to play through a bone spur throughout the 2012 season, tougher than you, too.
Perhaps the most enjoyable anecdote from the story linked above was the upside to Craft's much-resisted summer bone spur surgery: At least it would give him more time to study for his offseason classes in -- wait for it -- molecular genetics and physics. What a jock, this guy!
The latest bit of Craftian academic enjoyment comes via Paul Daugherty's new column for SI.com. The piece is a fun look at what Deshaun Thomas's development (and attitude) will mean for Ohio State in 2012-13. But Daugherty's discussion with Craft -- who claims he can beat Thomas one-on-one, for starters -- provides the best anecdote:
A favorite story about Craft concerns the one grade he got his entire life that was not an A. It was a B-plus, in a freshman Chemistry class. It still bugs him. It really does. "It's a humbling thing. A sad day in the Craft household,'' Craft says. "It reminded me that not all is going to be handed to me.''
That left Craft's GPA at 3.87, "which is ridiculous, because it needs to be rounded up,'' he says.
I'll admit it. In high school and college (when every journalism professor told me my GPA didn't matter anyway), I used to care a lot about my GPA. It was practically instinctual. I blame my lifelong educator of a mother. And joking or not, I'm afraid to reveal that "it needs to be rounded up!" is the same sort of technicality-based argument I would have made regarding my own academic credentials more than a few times.
What am I getting at? Craft is a huge geek! A geek who's one of the best defensive players in college basketball, and a geek who played through injury for much of his sophomore year. But a geek nonetheless.
Even better? I don't think he would deny it.