Isaiah Austin, once considered a top second-round prospect in this year's NBA draft, is being forced to shelve those dreams after an unexpected diagnosis of Marfan syndrome.
The 20-year-old Baylor University basketball star learned he had the genetic disorder, which affects the body's connective tissue, after undergoing a routine blood test during a pre-draft physical.
“They told me that my arteries in my heart are enlarged and that if I overwork myself or push too hard that my heart could rupture,” Austin said in an emotional interview with ESPN. “The draft is four days away and I had a dream that my name was going to be called.”
Posting on Instagram, Austin wrote:
"This game. It is a platform for anyone and everyone who comes in contact with it. I was blessed enough to play it on one of the highest levels despite the odds that were stacked against me. Blessed is all I can say. Thankful is all I can be. The love from you all is greatly appreciated! I know God has a plan! If I can say one to to anyone, it would be please, please do not take the privilege of playing sports or anything for granted."
In a moving show of support, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has invited Austin to attend the draft as his personal guest.
Words can't explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. It changed my life forever. #NewBeginnings— God's Child (@IsaiahAustin) June 22, 2014
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