On Sunday, former Baylor center Isaiah Austin was back to doing what he had done 119 times during his college career: blocking shots.
The 7-foot-1 Austin was helping the Bears in preparation for Monday night’s game with Texas Southern. Austin spent two seasons in Waco, Texas before declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft. The week of the draft, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, an inherited disorder that immediately ended his playing career. Since then, Austin has returned to campus to finish classes and assist with the basketball program.
He has a job waiting for him with the NBA once he finishes his education. About 1 in 5,000 people have Marfran syndrome. Austin has used his status to spread awareness of this medical condition.
After sitting out last season following his transfer from Baylor, Missouri guard Deuce Bello is out to remind the college basketball world that he’s one of the top dunkers in the nation.
First, he started with his teammates and new head coach Kim Anderson. The 6-foot-4 Bello jumped over (his crouching) coach to win the Mizzou dunk contest.
Anderson is listed at 6-foot-7, but isn’t standing up straight. However, Bello has shown in the past he’s able to clear taller obstacles.
Here some additional dunks from Bello:
Days before the NBA Draft, former Baylor center Isaiah Austin revealed his playing career was over after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. This led to the most touching moment of draft night, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league had selected Austin.
That wasn’t just for show either. Austin told TMZ.com that he has a job waiting for him with the NBA, once he graduates from Baylor University.
Austin — who was ceremonially drafted by the NBA at the Draft back in June — tells us Silver already hooked him up with a part-time gig with the league’s NBA Cares program … and promised full-time work once he gets his degree.
The 7-foot-1 center was a projected second round pick, but heads back to Waco to finish up classes in August. In two seasons with Baylor, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. In February, Austin shared his inspirational story, playing blind in his right eye since he was a child. Despite the heartbreaking news, Austin has continued to inspire others by selling T-shirts on his website in an effort to raise money for Marfan syndrome research.
He has also helped spread awareness of the inherited disorder that 1 in 5,000 people have. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, visitors to marfan.org and donations to the foundation have spiked since June. The Marfan Foundation’s annual conference set had a record turnout, which included Austin.
Between the 15th and 16th picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft, NBA commissioner took the time to honor former Baylor center Isaiah Austin. Expected to hear his name called at some point Thursday, Austin was forced to end his competitive career just days prior to the draft after he was found to have Marfan syndrome.
To have one’s career come to an end in that fashion was certainly a tough blow for Austin to absorb, but the way in which he’s handled the situation has resonated with many. Austin, who will return to Baylor to complete his degree, has an offer from Baylor to join their program as a coach (undergraduate assistants are allowed per NCAA rules), and the NBA has offered him a job once he graduates from Baylor.
Above is video of Silver drafting Austin into the NBA family, followed by a a short interview of the 7-foot-1 center.
Sunday it was announced that Isaiah Austin, who entered his name into the 2014 NBA Draft pool after spending two seasons at Baylor, would have to stop playing basketball due to his being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. Yet even with having to manage the painful reality of his career coming to an end, Austin has done his best to maintain a positive outlook.
Wednesday he was a guest on “Yahoo Sports Dash,” discussing his plans moving forward and his being a guest of NBA commissioner Adam Silver at Thursday’s NBA Draft. With a motto of “dream again,” Austin is now selling T-shirts on his website with the proceeds being used to help fund research of Marfan syndrome.
Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin announced on Sunday afternoon that his playing career is over after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. About 1 in 5,000 people have Marfran syndrome. It was revealed Austin suffered from the disorder during testing as he prepared for Thursday’s NBA Draft.
“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,” Baylor 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.”
The 7-foot-1 Austin played two seasons for Baylor, averaging 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He declared for the 2014 NBA Draft on April 22.
Austin could have entered the draft in 2013, but decided to return to Waco for a sophomore season. In January, he revealed that he was blind in his right eye, a secret he kept from the public for much of his playing career.
According to Holly Rowe, who interviewed Austin on Sunday afternoon’s SportsCenter, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already reached out to Austin and had invited him to Brooklyn for the NBA Draft.