Baylor NBA Hopeful Receives Devastating Diagnosis

Former Baylor seven-foot star basketball player Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a medical condition that will end his hopes for a career in professional basketball, multiple news sources are reporting.

Austin has been diagnosed with a condition known as Murfan syndrome. It is a medical condition caused by genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues through the body, according to Baylor officials.

One feature of Marfan syndrome is aortic enlargement, which can be life threatening. About one in 5,000 people have the condition, according to the Marfan Foundation.

Mar 27, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin (21, right) shoots against Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half in the semifinals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor head coach Scott Drew had this statement on Austin’s condition, issued by the university:

“This is devastating news, but Isaiah has the best support system anyone could ask for, and he knows he has knows that all of Baylor Nation is behind him. His health is the most important thing, and while it’s extremely sad 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.”

In 73 games, 72 of them as a starter, and two seasons playing for the Baylor Bears, the 20-year-old rising star averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in almost 29 minutes per game.

Numerous sources reported that during an NBA draft combine in Chicago in mid-May, an electrocardiogram test on Austin revealed an abnormality. Subsequent genetic tests led to the Marfan syndrome diagnosis.

Austin released this comment on the situation on Baylor basketball’s Twitter page on Sunday:

“The draft is four days away, and I had a dream that my name was going to be called. I’m sorry (my supporters) couldn’t see me play in the NBA. But it’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.”

Austin was projected in most mock drafts as a late first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft later this week.





Tags: Baylor Bears Basketball Isaiah Austin

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