Craft Named Distinguished Scholar by Big Ten

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Last updated: 07/11/2012 3:28 PM

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Men's Basketball
Craft Named Distinguished Scholar by Big Ten
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Of the thousands of athletes who play varsity sports in the Big Ten Conference, Aaron Craft stood alone on Wednesday.

He’s been doing that most of his life.

Aaron Craft
Photo by Jim Davidson
Aaron Craft

Ohio State’s junior point guard was selected as a recipient of the Big Ten’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which is reserved for athletes have earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year.

There were 587 student-athletes selected for academic recognition this year, including 58 from Ohio State. That list spread across the board, from Tim Wetzel in baseball to Katie Baumgardner in women’s soccer to C.J. Magrum in wrestling.

With an overall GPA of 3.89, Craft was the only men’s basketball player to receive this academic honor for the 2011-12 academic year. Not just at Ohio State, but in the entire conference.

Not even Northwestern produced a men’s basketball player who qualified for the Distinguished Scholar Award, which was implemented in Feb. of 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program.

Of course Craft—a native of Findlay, Ohio—was also named a Capital One 2012 First Team Academic All-American back in February. The Liberty Benton High School product became the first Ohio State men’s basketball student-athlete to earn academic All-America honors since Bill Hosket in 1968.

“It is a humbling honor. I feel blessed to have achieved it and to snap the Academic All-American drought here at Ohio State,” Craft said with a little bit of humor.

“But I could not have done it without my parents and the help of advisers here. Maintaining this level of success in the classroom is just as important to me as what we accomplish on the court.”

An exercise science (pre-med) major, Craft is taking a few classes this summer while he recovers from off-season ankle surgery. Those classes just so happen to be physics and molecular genetics.

Craft received a B+ in his physics class a year ago, so maybe he decided to take it again.


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