Former Baylor Basketball Star Isaiah Austin Has Career-Ending Medical Condition
Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin fought through a lot of adversity to become an elite college basketball player and a serious NBA prospect. Blind in his right eye since the age of 16, Austin worked hard to overcome this limitation, and when he announced that he would forgo his final two years at Baylor and enter the NBA draft, experts pegged him as a late first-round pick.
Unfortunately, there is no way Austin will be able to overcome the new obstacle that stands between him and his dream of playing in the NBA.
The 20-year-old underwent a routine physical at the NBA draft combine back in May and an EKG revealed an abnormality in his heart. This prompted doctors to conduct tests to look for genetic conditions, and on Saturday Austin got the bad news from his mother: he has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues.
“They said I wouldn’t be able to play basketball anymore at a competitive level,” Austin said in an interview with ESPN. “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.”
Obviously, this must be a bitter pill to swallow for the 7’1″ center. However, this is a condition that has killed elite athletes in the past, most notably U.S. Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman. So it’s obviously better to find out now rather than later.
Remarkably, Austin has been nothing but upbeat on Twitter.
If only we could all be this composed in the face of such horrible news.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]