Isaiah Austin's NBA dreams end with Marfan syndrome diagnosis

Written By Deantae Prince
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(AP Photo)

Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, ending his predraft process and the potential for an NBA career, Baylor announced on Sunday.

"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,"Baylor coach Scott 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."

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Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that results in a connective tissue problems throughout the body. The Baylor website lists an enlarged aorta as one result of Marfan syndrome, a problem that can be life-threatening. 

Austin, who suffered a detached retina that left him partially blind, has played with a prosthetic right eye during the course of his basketball career. He revealed this fact during his sophomore season. Even through that adversity, Austin averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 73 games over two years.

Austin made the decision to forgo the remainder of his college career in April, five days before the early-entry deadline. Austin considered the jump to the NBA as a freshman, but was not capable of going through the predraft process because of a torn labrum. 

The news of this final career-ending health issue comes with fewer than five days to spare before the 2014 NBA Draft, no doubt a day Austin had looked forward to as a top high school prospect and stand out college player. 

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