What was set to be an inspiring road-to-the-NBA story about former-Baylor center Isaiah Austin overcoming adversity has now been crushed.
Baylor University announced Sunday the potential first-round pick was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome — a genetic condition that affects the body's connective tissue and causes aortic enlargement, which is life threatening. He told ESPN, "If I overwork myself or push too hard, my heart could rupture. The draft is four days away and I had a dream my name was going to be called." (Via ESPN)
Austin's condition was discovered during standard, pre-NBA draft genetic testing. Doctors suggested Austin stop playing competitive basketball for good or risk death, meaning his NBA dream is dashed before it even started.
Baylor coach Scott Brooks said, "This is devastating news, but Isaiah has the best support system anyone could ask for, and he knows that all of Baylor nation is behind him. His health is the most important thing ... Our hope is that he'll return to Baylor to complete his degree and serve as a coach in our program."
The 7-foot-1 center already faced adversity on the path to college stardom. Austin was blinded in his right eye after a childhood accident tore his retina.
Austin ended up committing to Baylor where he became one of the most elite shot blockers in the nation. Speaking with reporters just days before he found out about his condition, he had this to say: (Via YouTube / DraftExpress)
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.