Isaiah Austin's NBA dreams crushed just days before draft

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NBA draft prospect, Isaiah Austin, has been forced to retire from basketball just days before what would undoubtedly have been one of the biggest days of his life.

With the NBA Draft just four days away the former Baylor center was predicted to be a second round pick, but after having been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, his dreams of playing professional basketball are now over.

The disease can alter the body's connective tissue and weaken the aorta - the crucial artery in the heart which transports blood to the rest of the body.


Austin had declared for the draft after two seasons playing with the Baylor Bears and was clearly devastated as he explained the reasoning behind the unfortunate decision:

"They told me that my arteries in my heart and enlarged and that if I overwork myself or push too hard that my heart could rupture," the 7' 1" center told ESPN through tears.

"The draft is four days away and I had a dream that my name was going to be called," Austin continued.

Unfortunately the event, held Thursday at the Brooklyn Net's Barclays Center, will now take place without Austin but he has promised that he will fight on:

"For all my supporters, I just want to tell them I'm sorry.

"I'm sorry they couldn't see me play in the NBA. To my fans, it's not the end. It's only the beginning," said Austin.


There is currently no cure for Marfan syndrome meaning that Austin was left with no other choice but to call time on his NBA career before it had even began.

The complications the syndrome causes to the vital aorta mean that anyone who is found to have the syndrome is warned to avoid high-intensity sports and excessive weight lifting - both obviously major parts of life as a professional basketball player.

Austin was found to have Marfan Syndrome during a routine check up at the NBA combine back in mid-May but only made the news public this weekend.


Despite never really taking college ball by storm, many had put Austin as a secure second-round pick while some even had him going late in the first largely due to his imposing stature and potential for development.

He had an effective season with Baylor during his sophomore year. The center averaged 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds as he helped the Bears to the Sweet 16 stage of the NCAA Tournament before they were eventually eliminated boy Wisconsin.

After playing in all but one of Baylor's 73 games during the most recent campaign Austin chose to forgo the rest of school in the hope of landing with an NBA franchise this week.


Isaiah Austin's brief career in the higher echelons of basketball was riddled with bad luck. Even before this latest, and clearly most dramatic revelation, it became apparent that the player had a prosthetic right eye.

The injury dates back from a game as a youngster in which he aggravated a previous problem when making a dunk.

Austin's future now looks unclear, Scott Drew, his former coach at Baylor who was present when Austin heard the news for the first time,made it clear in the aftermath of Austin's heartbreaking news that he had plenty of support going into the future:

"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.

"His health is the most important thing."

Check below to see Austin in action for Baylor during his freshman year.

NBA Draft

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