Former Baylor Bears big man Isaiah Austin told NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper Monday it's really not that difficult to be constrained to watching this year's NBA Summer League instead of playing in it. Instead, Austin acknowledged that achieving his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA simply was not part of "God's plan" for him.
The 7-foot-1 Austin was widely expected to be selected in last month's NBA draft, but his career came to an abrupt end when he announced he was recently diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that debilitates human connective tissue.
Austin told NBA.com the gesture that meant the most to him throughout the ordeal of his diagnosis was NBA commissioner Adam Silver assuring Austin he would always be a part of the NBA family. The remark took place when Silver, in a surprising and emotional move, momentarily halted the draft's first round to honorarily "select" Austin on behalf of the NBA.
Austin reaffirmed he has had not had any communication with any team and is not holding out hope for a potential comeback later in his career. Baylor head coach Scott Drew told the Houston Chronicle last month he hoped Austin would consider returning to Baylor to finish his degree and join the coaching staff. Howard-Cooper reported in the NBA.com interview Austin is currently considering an offer coach at Baylor.
People Magazine reported last week Austin will partner with the Marfan Foundation to raise awareness about the eponymous condition, a tissue disorder that can manifest itself through a wide range of cardiovascular, ocular and skeletal deficiencies.
Former Baylor Center Isaiah Austin diagnosed with career-ending condition.
- Will Green