This is just terrible news.
Baylor center Isaiah Austin, a potential second round pick, has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a career ending condition, the university has announced.
According to the Marfan Foundation Web site: “Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissue together. It also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly.”
One aspect of Marfan syndrome is aortic enlargement, which is something both life threatening and will end his basketball career. Unlike other NBA players diagnosed with heart issues, this is not something that can be fixed by surgery.
Austin, a 7’1” center, was a potential second round draft pick, reports PBT draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com and Rotoworld. Here is how Isaacson described him, picking him to go in the second rounds.
Austin’s impact will likely be on the defensive side, and his ability to block shots should have plenty of teams interested in him. There is some skill on the offensive end, but his lack of strength forces him often to the perimeter. Still, being able to knock down some open shots while providing a defensive presence in the lane should earn him some role player minutes.
This is sad news for his basketball career, but with this diagnosis he can go on to have a long and productive life. He also can help raise awareness of a disease that the Marfan Foundation says 1 in 5,000 people have. To learn more about the condition go to the Marfan Foundation Web site.