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.