Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin diagnosed with career-ending condition

Monday June 23rd, 2014

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.”

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.