COLUMBUS, Ohio — For Crew SC defender and Westerville North High School graduate Aboubacar Keita, Wednesday's trip to OhioHealth Doctors Hospital to visit patients recovering from surgery, was more than just another day at the office. 

  • Crew SC defender Aboubacar Keita was on-hand to visit with patients and hospital employees
  • The 19-year-old second-year Westerville North graduate paused for photos and signed autographs for fans of the Black and Gold
  • Last year, Keita became the 12th homegrown player in Crew SC history

“Seeing someone like that going through that type of thing, at that age, is pretty humbling,” said Keita. “To know you're healthy and able to do everything on your own, especially these nurses here, taking care of someone else, is pretty nice.”

Keita, who is the 12th homegrown player in club history, posed for pictures and signed autographs for fans of the Black and Gold.

80-year-old Pittsburgh native Wade Edwards is on the mend after surgery, but looks forward to the day he can see a match in person.

He says Keita's visit is something he'll never forget. He told the second-year defender to remain grounded, because fans are always looking for a role model. 

“'Cause all the young kids want to be like you,” said Edwards.

A couple of floors below, hospital administration lined up to get their Black and Gold swag, and shake the hand of their hometown standout. 

And after the 10-month grind of a season, Keita says he looks forward to spending the next few months with family — and mentally preparing for what's to come in his sophomore season. 

“Just leave here as a more humble person, you know,” said Keita.

“Bouba” as his friends call him, and the rest of Crew SC, begin training camp next month.

The regular season for Crew SC begins March 1 against New York City FC at Mapfre Stadium.