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Potential second round pick Isaiah Austin diagnosed with career-ending condition

Jun 22, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

Baylor v Wisconsin Getty Images

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 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.

  1. kb2408 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I really feel terrible for this kid. After all he’s done just to put himself in position to “possibly” play in the NBA, this happens! Sometimes things happen in life and we don’t have a clue as to why. Just gotta keep it moving. At least he still has the rest of his life to live.

    • topdawg4ever - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      What an awful thing to have happen after such hard work. Good luck to him in the future!

  2. yesser12 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Wow the guy just can’t catch a break. He seems like a hard worker and played with the other problem. Now only to get hit with this bad news.

  3. antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    That’s heartbreaking news, but he was fortunate that someone finally decided to do further testing. It probably should’ve been detected sooner – if not because of heart abnormalities then because of his endless detached retina problems – but you know how it goes with doctors: “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.”

    He could’ve saved his vision if someone would’ve taken the extra step sooner. The doctor(s) who performed the 5 surgeries on his eye must be mortified right now.

  4. sumkat - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    A shame for the kid, but great news in the grand scheme of things. Better to find out about it now before getting into the grind of being on an NBA team without it being diagnosed, and could of lead to the end of his life

  5. marbulz - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    People that have been around and seen what he’s done are probably just a broken foot as he is. he probably has no regrets only what his future memories of what could’ve been too bad for him and his family I hope everything turns out for the best

  6. miamiHeatlesnotBeatles - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    God-Speed, Young man.

  7. loubearkane - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    He battled depth perception problems when he lost his left eye 6 years ago , he worked and worked to be a NBA Draft pick. For him I wish this news would of came one week later so he could of heard his name be drafted by an NBA team.

    This kid is a worked and a fighter and I have no doubt he will be a success in whatever he decides to pursue.

  8. bigmeechy74 - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    the lead singer of “deerhunter” has the same thing. he should call him

    • 5xchamp24 - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      Never fails, theres always one person no matter what.

  9. mungman69 - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Just bad news. However, if treated properly one can live a relatively normal life. Still it’s sad to hear.

  10. adoombray - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    What a shame. I’ve been drafting him in NBA2k14 all season and was looking forward to seeing what the real guy was like. That condition sounds horrible. May Allah give him even greater rewards than he would have found on the court for his courage and hard work

    • bealwithit - Jun 22, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      I respect your religious beliefs man. Whether you use the word God or Allah or anything else, I understand your intentions as a human being caring for another. Unfortunately, people will see the name Allah and immediately down vote you.

      • adoombray - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Fortunately, Allah’s judgement is all I’m really worried about, but you’re right, which is exactly why I am unafraid to make the reference – It’s 2014, we’ve made lots of social progress and if God-Speed is okay then so is what I said. It’s the same God we’re referring to.

        I didn’t mean to turn this into what it turned into, but for whatever it’s worth, I’m a white convert in Boston, I walk around in Celtics gear and I play in a Muslim basketball league. Sports is a great unifier and anyone can respect what Isaiah Austin is going through.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        He would’ve received down votes for saying God too.

  11. fordmandalay - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    Terrible news, best of luck Mr. Austin.

  12. hojo20 - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Well hopefully he can fall back on his college education and get a job in the real world.

  13. trevor123698 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    It is not a genetic condition. No disease is. they are all nutritional deficiency diseases. His is a copper deficiency first and foremost and from there it goes into numerous other minerals. Call me an idiot. I dont care. Doctors are retards. Look up things like Defying muscular dystrophy with todd harrison. Look up on youtube the words “alopecia youngevity”. Listen to everything by dr joel wallach. Disease is caused by nutritional deficiency

    • ddarqwon - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:08 AM

      Ignorance is a disease cause by information deficiency.

      • trevor123698 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:05 AM

        So you’re telling me I cannot easily prove what I say. Please read “Epigenetics: the death of the genetic theory of disease transmission. \” and then spread it far and wide. I’m right you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter what you think

    • spursareold - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      “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.”

      Bush 41 has it. Do you think someone raised in a blue blood family in CT was nutritionally deprived?

      Dumb@ss Jenny McCarthy is probably your hero, too.

    • trevor123698 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      like i said call me an idiot all you want. I am right. Doctors rely on morons like you believing disease isnt caused by nutritional deficiency to make their money. You need to pick up books like “BEchamp or pasteur” or “Immortality” by Dr Joel WAllach. Please pre order “EpiGenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission”. you need it more than me. I feel sorry for you

  14. tomtravis76 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    Cuban can find the young man a position within the business side of the mavs. Arlington raised kid, must be somewhat of a Mavs fan.

  15. ddarqwon - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:10 AM

    God bless and the best for this young man going forward.

  16. fnc111 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:18 AM


    I’m guessing we’ll see you fighting against us someday for ISIS. I’m sure you’re a moderate Muslim. Outraged at the persecution of Christians in the Middle East? Riiiiight.

  17. fnc111 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Let us know how those 72 virgins are db.

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