Baylor basketball star Isaiah Austin’s career was tragically cut short after he was diagnosed with a career-ending medical condition.
Austin, 20, had been projected as a late first-round pick, and underwent a physical at the NBA combine where his EKG test revealed the abnormality.
After additional genetic tests, results came back positive for Marfan syndrome. The recommendation was that Austin, who is 7 foot 1, quit playing basketball immediately.
“They said I wouldn’t be able to play basketball anymore at a competitive level,” Austin told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “They found the gene in my blood sample. They told me that my arteries in my heart are enlarged and that if I overwork myself and push too hard that my heart could rupture. The draft is four days away, and I had a dream that my name was going to be called.”
Of what he’s learned from this process, Austin told Rowe: “For all of my supporters, I just want to tell them sorry. I’m sorry they couldn’t see me play in the NBA. But it’s not the end; it’s only the beginning.”
Although the diagnosis ensures that Austin’s name won’t be called by any NBA team, commissioner Adam Silver invited him to the draft as a guest.
For the most part, Austin handled the news with a positive attitude. “Words can’t explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. #newbeginnings” he tweeted.
Austin played at Baylor for two seasons. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game.
This is not the end for you Isaiah. We look forward to watching you succeed on a different path.
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