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Isaiah Austin invited to NBA draft, in line for $1 million insurance policy

Jun 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Baylor v Wisconsin Getty Images

Isaiah Austin’s basketball career is over due to Marfan Syndrome, but it’s not all bad news for the former Baylor player.

Darren Rovell of ESPN:

Former Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin, who saw his dreams of playing in the NBA abruptly come to a halt this week, has an insurance policy worth at least $1 million, his agent Dwon Clifton confirmed to

The 7-foot-1 Austin took out the insurance policy through the NCAA’s elite athlete insurance program. A college basketball player typically pays about $5,000 per million, an insurance industry source said, and an athlete can only collect the amount he is insured for if he has a total disability that ends his career.

Insurance policies that cover career-ending situations usually include a 12-month wait period, as the insurer sees if the athlete can make an attempt to recover. But Austin’s case should be resolved sooner, since there’s little debate of his diagnosis and of doctor’s recommendations.

Assuming Austin qualifies, and it is expected he should, he will not have to pay taxes on his insurance payout.

Dwain Price of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram:

If Austin earned a minimum NBA salary the next two years – not a given without his ailment, but a reasonable estimate for him – he would have made $1,352,395. But that’s before taxes, which would obviously take a bite from the pie.

And a trip to Brooklyn for the draft will be a nice diversion in what’s surely a trying time.

Nothing will fully replace the thrill of his name being called on the draft night or the pride that comes through pursuing a career in his chosen path, but I’m glad Austin isn’t left to fend for himself without support.

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Isaiah Austin’s Marfan Syndrome diagnosis a ‘blessing in disguise’


  1. campcouch - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    That’s awesome! I wish him luck in life. Marfan’s is a tough one to deal with and it’s good that the doctors caught this now. There’s a lot of grief given to sports doctors but often the pro physicians find things that have gone undiagnosed in players their whole lives and effectively save them. I hope that policy gives him an opportunity to start something new in his life.

  2. kb2408 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Great story. Best wishes to the young man.

  3. theblackrook - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:03 AM


  4. ranfan12 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:27 AM

    any chance of 60th pick drafting him? that would be the least the nba could do for him

    • spursareold - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      I’d love it if the Spurs did that, and offered him a job in the organization.

  5. fordmandalay - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Glad some good news came out of this. Hopefully his agent doesn’t wind up with 60% of the money.

    • spursareold - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      It’s not a contract, so that can’t happen.

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