Recently Diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, Isaiah Austin, Chosen as the NBA Ceremonial Draft Pick of 2014
The NBA had their sights on Baylor sophomore Isaiah Austin, but word came just before the draft that Austin has Marfan syndrome. This genetic disorder affects the body’s connective tissues, which are found throughout the body.
Even though Austin has been playing basketball during his years at Baylor with no complications,Marfan syndrome has the potential to cause life-threatening complications. Therefore, the only move Austin could make was to say goodbye to his dream of playing in the NBA (What is Marfan Syndrome: The Marfan Foundation, June 2014).
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver surprised the world when he revealed the ceremonial draft pick for 2014: “The 7-foot-1 sophomore was once considered a first-round prospect for the draft until his diagnosis. When his name was announced, the entire arena rose from their seats, giving Austin a standing ovation while he shook hands with Silver and took photos, as all draft picks do. Instead of a team jersey, Austin sported a generic, royal-blue NBA hat,” (Isaiah Austin Receives Ceremonial Pick at 2014 NBA Draft: People.com, June 27, 2014).
“The news of having Marfan syndrome won’t keep Austin down for long,” predicts Frank N. Darras, America’s disability insurance lawyer to the pros. “I’m sure he will turn what could be one of the worst events in his life into a positive experience and use it as a way to raise money for Marfan syndrome research. Austin has the potential to be a mentor for young basketball players or even to help others achieve their dreams despite having Marfan syndrome. I am excited to see what the future will bring for him.”
Along with Austin, most Americans were moved to tears by the touching ceremonial draft pick for this 2014 season. Just like any injury on the court, Austin was dealt a blow that will last him a lifetime. Instead of representing his team on the basketball court, he will be representing his new disease and those suffering from Marfan syndrome (How Isaiah Austin Became NBAs Most Valuable Draft Pick, Forbes, 6/27/2014).
“This will be a tough time for Austin as he learns about his condition and adjusts his life accordingly. Hopefully, his family and friends will be there to support him as he decides what path he wants to take. Austin is a terrific competitor and I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more from him in the coming years,” says Darras.