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Diebler, Craft hanging up their jerseys following loss in TBT

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Final game
Jon Diebler of Carmen’s Crew shoots a 3-pointer against The Money Team on Tuesday. Diebler scored six points in what he later said was the final basketball game of his playing career.
TBT Staff/Ben Solomon
This is it
Jon Diebler shoots a 3-pointer over the block of a defender from The Money Team on Tuesday. Diebler and Aaron Craft both said their playing careers are over following the loss.
TBT Staff/Ben Solomon

By ANDREW WILSON 

Staff writer 

COLUMBUS — Soon after Xavier Munford’s jumper hit the Target Score and sent The Money Team to Dayton following a stunning, 91-89 victory over host Carmen’s Crew Tuesday at the Covelli Center, Aaron Craft and Jon Diebler discussed their futures. 

Diebler, who scored six points with two assists, said he is done playing for Carmen’s Crew at the TBT and basketball as well. He is open to being involved with the team in some degree in the future, perhaps as an adviser, but not as a player. 

He has considered retirement for a while after playing professionally overseas for nine years. 

“This is it for me. I’m done playing basketball,” Diebler said. “I’ve been telling the guys that for the last three months, no one believed me, so I guess it’s official now. Like Craft said, this is fun. I’m at a point in my life, in my career, that I know when it’s time to be done. I’ve had a fortunate career. I’ve played for nine years, stayed healthy for the most part. This is fun, a lot of fun. To echo what he (Craft) said, I love these guys. It’s fun to do this, fun to get in front of our fans. I think that’s what hurts the most — the crowd really brought it tonight, and good times.” 

Craft said it was his final time playing for Carmen’s Crew at the TBT. He said he also is open to returning to the team as an adviser in the future. 

“It’s great,” Craft said. “I don’t feel sad or angry, I feel happy. They were gracious enough to let me play again. I definitely didn’t have to, but they let me come back, hang out, so I’m grateful. I had a great couple weeks. It was fun practicing, playing games again. A couple times out there, it felt like old times, so it gave me a nice little boost heading into school again.” 

Craft is currently in medical school and doesn’t think he will have the adequate amount of time to compete in the future. 

“Even if I think mentally and physically I could play again, I don’t think I’ll have the time next year,” Craft said. “It was a great run. TBT gave us a lot of fun times together, so we’ll see if I can come back and be an adviser of some sort.” 

Munford poured in a game-high 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting in the win for The Money Team, which rallied from an 18-point deficit to advance to the Round of 8 for the first time. 

Jordon Crawford finished with 14 points and eight assists in the win for The Money Team, which trailed by five points headed into the Elam Ending before rallying for the win. 

Kosta Koufos scored a team-high 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the loss for Carmen’s Crew, which lost despite shooting 59% from the field and making 15 of 16 free throws. William Buford scored 15 points. David Lighty scored 14 points with five rebounds and one assist. Julian Mavunga and Evan Ravenel each scored seven points. 

Carmen’s Crew turned the ball over 15 times, and The Money Team scored 23 points off of turnovers. The Money Team also scored 15 fast-break points. 

Diebler said they wanted to make sure Carmen’s Crew continues to compete at the TBT in future years. 

“Our goal was to keep it going,” Diebler said. “This wasn’t a five-year thing to when we’re all old and retired, there’s no more Carmen’s Crew and the TBT. We want to keep it going, keep getting some younger guys who brought guys in this year that helped a lot. We’ll see. I know guys are going to get ready for their seasons and we’ll touch base in the middle of the year again.” 

(Continued on page 6)

Diebler reminisced about the opportunity to play with many of his OSU teammates again. 

“Honestly, it’s beyond basketball, beyond winning games,” Diebler said. “We’re just a big family. We hang out together. A lot of us have kids, our kids hang out together. It’s cool. Obviously, everybody wants to win, everyone would like to win some money. But for us, it’s about having that chance to put this same uniform on again, especially to represent our university, our basketball program. TBT has been great working with our university and having the games here. As you can see, we have some amazing fans. For them to come out, especially for a 9 o’clock game, to come out to support us like that, it’s awesome.” 

TBT staff contributed to this report. 

 

 

 


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