Former Baylor star Isaiah Austin has been medically cleared to play basketball and is considering offers overseas, writes Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. Austin declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore season, but his career was derailed when doctors discovered he had Marfan syndrome, a disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue.
Austin announced the news in a video on his Instagram account, saying, “Ever since the draft I’ve been getting checked by my doctor, and through those checkups, we’ve been monitoring my heart, making sure that nothing has changed, and he said that I am stable.”
Austin, now 23, was considered to be a late first-round pick in 2014 after averaging 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game in his final season at Baylor. His condition was discovered at the NBA combine, according to ESPN.com. The first sign of trouble was an electrocardiogram test that showed an abnormality in his heart. Further genetic tests confirmed that he had Marfan syndrome.
Austin learned of the diagnosis days before the draft and was told he could not safely continue to play basketball. NBA commissioner Adam Silver called him up to the dais and made him a ceremonial pick.
“I am cleared,” Austin announced in the Instagram video. “I am about to be out here pursuing my dream. Ever since my doctors told me that I was cleared, it’s been in my mind — I want to go chase this. It’s always been my dream. At the same time, I’m a God-faring man, and I believe that everything happens in life for a reason, so why would God put it in my doctor’s heart to say that I was cleared if he didn’t want me to go and chase my dream and share my testimony with millions of people around the world.”