French Pro A

Aaron Craft : « Monaco is a great opportunity for me to continue developing in my career »

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to met the Ohio State Buckeyes legend Aaron Craft (6’2, 26 years old) after his first preseason game overseas with his new team. The american point guard and me talked about his college and pro career, and few more others things.

You are the all-time leader for assists and steals in Ohio State University. How was the experience?
It was a lot of fun. It’s probably the most fun I had playing basketball. You get being a group of guys for four years, you create a family, a family obviously united. A lot of guys doesn’t have close friendships to the stay. I played against Will (Buford) today, I played with him in school, and he is a guy we talked and get together every summer. It was a lot of fun.

You started your pro basketball career at the NBA training camp of the best team of the World : Golden State Warriors. Superstars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were there. What did you learned from this?
It was also a lot of fun. Those guys were great. They weren’t selfish and standoffish. They were very opened to me and questions I had. They have shown me how it’s like to be a professional.
Being around them for the month or the few weeks, it was definitely a worthy experience.

What about the D-League experience with Santa Cruz Warriors? You won the championship and the « Defender of the Year » award during your first pro season there…
It was a tough changement at first, but we had a great group of guys. A lot of guys had a lot of experiences. I very enjoyed my role. It is a great organization. The coach is one of my favorite I have played for. He made things a lot easier and obviously when you win, things are going well.

Then, you started playing basketball overseas in Hungary. Last season, you reached the Finals in the italian top league. And during the offseason, you decided to sign in France with Monaco. Why did you choose this team?
It just started with a great opportunity for me to continue developing in my career. I had a lot of fun and success last year. It just started with a great opportunity to become part of a great organization and team.

What will be your goals?
Obviously, they had a lot of success in the past. They had down the stairs and found a way to move in the playoffs. I think our biggest goal is to continue the success they had here, what the coaches and the organization also are doing. I would just really try to get a feel for that and try to build off the past success they had. Hopefully, we can take a step further at the end of the year.

Monaco won the french regular season twice in a row but didn’t won the championship during the playoffs. So, winning the playoffs will be the ultimate goal?
Yeah, but it is a long long way right now. I think our biggest focus right now is just getting better as a team. We can’t do something in the playoffs if we don’t make the playoffs first. Our biggest goal to start is to have a good regular season, and have a lot of momentum going in the playoffs.

Did you had time to visit the city?
We’ve been there for few days. My wife joined me the past week. Explore the city is a lot of fun. It is an incredible place. If you are on a bad day, you’ve just to look outside, look at the water, it is extremely inspiring. I’m excited to get a feel for the rest of the city and town.

You just played your first basketball preseason tournament in France. What is your first impression about it?
I think both teams gonna be different in the middle of the season but, it is a good first test for myself and our team. That is the first time I’ve played in the french league, and playing against a french team. In a game, it is a low different. I enjoyed it.

You are definitely a great defender. What is your secret?
I wish I can tell, but I have to keep it for myself.

To conclude, let’s talk about the rubik’s cube. On youtube, we can see you resolve it in 80 seconds. Is that your best performance?
My best is a minute, 60 seconds, but I did it just once.

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