Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a career-ending medical condition. Austin announced his diagnosis in an interview with ESPN on Sunday.
According to the National Library of Medicine, Marfan syndrome is “a disorder of connective tissue…that strengthens the body’s structures. Disorders of connective tissue affect the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, eyes, and skin.”
“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,” Bears head coach Scott Drew said in a statement. “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.”
During his sophomore year, Austin revealed that he was blind in his right eye due to a detached retina he suffered as a teenager. Last season, he averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.
On Twitter, Austin said that “Words can’t explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. It changed my life forever. #NewBeginnings.”
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
I would love to thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me. Toughest days of my life. But not the last! Life goes on. GOD IS STILL GREAT!— God's Child (@IsaiahAustin) June 22, 2014
"I'm sorry (my supporters) couldn't see me play in the NBA. But it's not the end, it's only the beginning." - @IsaiahAustin— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) June 22, 2014