Waco, TX, United States (4E Sports) – A serious medical condition has quashed former Baylor star Isaiah Austin’s pursuit of an NBA career.
A projected late first-round pick, Austin underwent a standard physical at the NBA combine where his EKG test revealed an abnormality. After additional genetic tests, results came back positive for Marfan syndrome.
The recommendation was that Austin quit playing basketball immediately.
“They said I wouldn’t be able to play basketball anymore at a competitive level,” Austin said. “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.”
“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,” he added.
The 7-foot-1 Austin, who has been blind in his right eye since age 16 after suffering a retinal detachment and four subsequent surgeries, spent two seasons at Baylor, averaging 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game.
“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.
“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,” he added.
Although no team will call his name that night, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has invited Austin to the NBA draft as his guest.
According to the Marfan Foundation, it is a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue that holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissue together. It also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect many different parts of the body.
Features of the disorder are most often found in the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes.