June 22, 2014
WACO, Texas - Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a career-ending medical condition. Genetic testing as part of preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft revealed that Austin suffers from Marfan syndrome.
"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," head coach Scott Drew said. "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."
Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body. One feature of Marfan syndrome is aortic enlargement, which can be life-threatening. According to The Marfan Foundation, about one in 5,000 people have Marfan syndrome. For more information, visit www.marfan.org.
A 7-foot-1 center from Arlington, Texas, Austin revealed during his sophomore season that he is blind in his right eye as a result of a detached retina suffered as a teenager. He was expected to be the first to ever play in the NBA while partially blind.
Austin played two seasons at Baylor before declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft. He played in 73 games (72 starts) and averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game. Austin finished his Baylor career tied for second on the school's all-time blocked shots list with 177, and his 119 blocks as a sophomore led the Big 12 Conference. Baylor went a combined 49-26 during his two-year career, winning the 2013 NIT Championship and advancing to the 2014 NCAA Sweet 16.