NBA Makes Austin’s Dreams Come True with Gesture at Draft

of being drafted by an NBA team, Baylor power forward/center Isaiah Austin was drafted by the entire league. Austin
accepted a ceremonial pick from Commissioner Adam Silver at the Draft on
Thursday at the Barclays Center in New York after being diagnosed with Marfan
 during a physical for the draft.
syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue.
Connective tissue 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, as well. Features of the disorder are most often
found in the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes. Some Marfan
features – for example, aortic enlargement (expansion of the main blood vessel
that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body) – can be
life-threatening. The lungs, skin and nervous system may also be affected.
Marfan syndrome does not affect intelligence. Consequently Marfan ended his
basketball career.

“I had a dream that my name was going to be called,” Austin, 20, told
ESPN of his NBA aspirations. “They said I wouldn’t be able to play
basketball no more, at a competitive level … They told me my arteries and my
heart are enlarged, and that if I overwork myself or push myself, my heart
could rupture.” 

7-foot-1 sophomore was once considered a first-round prospect for the draft
until his diagnosis. When his name was announced, the entire arena rose from
their seats, giving Austin a standing ovation while he shook hands with Silver
and took photos, as all draft picks do. Instead of a team jersey, Austin
sported a generic, royal-blue NBA hat. 

have a whole life ahead of me,” Austin said. “I’m not going to sit
here and I’m not going to sulk about not being able to play basketball anymore,
because I can still be involved with the game somehow or some way.”

Austin revealed during his sophomore year at Baylor that he has a prosthetic
right eye because of a detached retina, a problem associated with Marfan

Sources say Austin is educating himself about Marfan syndrome and plans to
advocate for it by educating the public.

“These past couple of days have really taught me a lot about myself,”
he said. “They’ve really shown me, no matter what obstacle you get thrown
in life, there’s always a way around it or a way through it … For the rest of
my life I’m going to keep a positive attitude and not take anything for granted
because it can be ripped away from you in seconds.”,

Join the conversation:


I am oh so proud of you, Julia! That you put this together on a shiotsreng budget and with barely any time to speak of is amazing but then I expect no less than amazing from you! What a wonderful gift you are to your community. I know you are too humble to toot your own horn but people need to know that this wonderful event was all your doing!!!!!!!


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