After a Marfan syndrome diagnosis sidelined him from basketball for two years, Baylor product Isaiah Austin has been cleared by his doctor to play again. Austin, a 7’1 stretch big man who was considered a mid-to-late first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, made the announcement on Wednesday via his Instagram account.
“Very excited to announce to everyone that the news is true. I have been blessed by the grace of God to receive a second chance at chasing my dream of playing basketball. Everything happens for a reason and I’m ready to share my testimony and journey with millions of people across the world.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 said in a video posted on his Instagram account.
The 7-foot-1 Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. Following the diagnosis, doctors told Austin he would be unable to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA, yet Adam Silver made sure that Austin felt like part of the basketball family. More than two years later, there’s a chance that Austin could join the NBA in a more official
According to the Marfan Foundation, Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue that holds together all of the body’s cells, organs and tissue. It also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect many different parts of the body. Some athletes have died on the court as a result of Marfan syndrome and associated aortic problems, among them noted Olympic volleyball star Flo Hyman.
Austin has also been blind in his right eye since he was 16 years old after suffering a detached retina, an injury which required numerous surgeries. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during his two seasons at Baylor.
“Ever since the draft, I’ve been getting checked by my doctors. And through those check-ups, we’ve been monitoring my heart, making sure nothing has changed,” he said in his announcement. “He said that I’m stable. I am cleared. I am about to be out here pursuing my dream.”
Welcome back, buddy!