While a lot of the 2014 NBA Draft focus has been on the foot injury suffered by potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid, it’s another big man who is making news today and much like Embiid, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Prospect Isaiah Austin, a 7’1 center from Baylor has been diagnosed with Marfan sydrome which is a genetic condition that can lead to leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body which can include an aortic enlargement, a life-threatening situation.
Given that, Isaiah Austin’s NBA career is sadly over before it even had a chance to begin.
Baylor’s head coach Scott Drew spoke about the unfortunate events today.
“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,” Drew said. “His health is the most important thing, and while it’s extremely sad that 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.”
Isaiah Austin wasn’t likely to be a first round pick though depending on which mock draft you may have checked out, he could have been drafted potentially in the upper second round to the bottom half. It’s also possible he may not have went drafted at all, though off size alone he was expected to at minimum get an NBA D-League opportunity, if not more.
In addition to Marfan, Austin has a detached retina (which he revealed during his sophomore season) and was hopeful to become the first partially blind player to play in the NBA.
Our best wishes are with him.