Just a few days before his name is called in the 2014 NBA Draft, prospect and former Baylor star Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with a genetic disorder known as Marfan Syndrome.
ESPN.com reports that the pre-draft medical testing results specified that the genetic disorder of Austin leads to complications in connective tissues throughout the body. The said condition will not allow the 7-foot-1 center to be able to continue with his NBA dream.
"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," Baylor coach Scott Drew said in a statement released by the school. "His health is the most important thing, and while it's extremely sad that he won't be able to play in the NBA, our hope is that he'll return to Baylor to complete his degree and serve as a coach in our program."
A very rare condition that occurs to only 1 in 5,000 people, Marfan syndrome can manifest in most areas of the body, usually attacking the heart, bones, joint and eyes. The said diagnosis comes as a big blow after Austin has already overcome other medical challenges just to perform on the court. Hehas little to no vision in his right eye which multiple operations could not save the retina which he suffered during a routine warm-up.
Although already visually challenged, Austin rose up to the occasion and emerged as a McDonald's All American player in high school and became one of the best rim protectors in college. He was starting center in 72 of the 73 games in Baylor and registered averages of 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game.
He was projected to be selected in the middle to late first round in the upcoming NBA draft.