Former Baylor forward Isaiah Austin was projected to be a late first-round pick in Tuesday night’s NBA Draft, but now his playing career is over.
The 7-footer was diagnosed with the serious medical condition Marfan Syndrome, which is a disorder that affects connective tissue in the body. He underwent a standard physical at the NBA combine, and an EKG test revealed the irregularity.
Austin sat down with ESPN’s Holly Rowe to explain the matter further.
“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,” Austin said. “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 from Kansas to Dallas overnight to give Austin the news that his career was over in person.
“For all of my supporters, I just want to tell them sorry,” Austin said. “I’m sorry they couldn’t see me play in the NBA. But it’s not the end; it’s only the beginning.”
Austin, who attended a pre-NBA draft workout with the Boston Celtics last week, averaged 3.1 blocks-per-game for the Bears last season, good for sixth-best in college basketball.
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