Baylor Draft Prospect Diagnosed With Career-Ending Condition

Creighton v Baylor

Projected to be picked in this week’s NBA draft, former Baylor star Isaiah Austin instead learned that his basketball career would be coming to an end after a new medical discovery over the weekend.

The 20-year-old underwent a standard pre-draft physical, where his EKG test revealed an abnormality. After additional tests, results came back positive that Austin was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body.

Austin already overcame the odds to play basketball. He is blind in his right eye because of a detached retina, following an injury that happened in middle school. None other than family, teammates and close friends knew about Austin’s blindness until January.

The recommendation offered to Austin was to stop playing basketball immediately.

“They said I wouldn’t be able to play basketball anymore at a competitive level,” Austin revealed, his head bowed and in tears. “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.”

Austin’s mother, Lisa Green, drove through the night from Kansas to Dallas to deliver the diagnosis in person. Baylor coach Scott Drew and Austin’s high school coaches gathered with family and friends to show support when they told him the career-ending news.

Of what he learned, Austin told ESPN’s Holly Rower: “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 its’ not the end; it’s only the beginning.”

As well wishes and supportive messages came pouring in after the announcement on Sunday, Austin remains positive.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Twitter: @IsaiahAustin

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Instagram: @isaiahaustin