Isaiah Austin cleared to play basketball three years after Marfan syndrome diagnosis

Austin's announcement came on an episode of Cassy Athena's Thru The Lense series.The NBA drafted 7-foot-1 Isaiah Austin out of Baylor during the 2014 NBA Draft between picks 15 and 16, which led to a touching, tear-jerking moment for all who viewed.

"The first year (Liang) didn't want me to do too much, he wanted to monitor my heart", Austin said.

But during pre-draft physical exams he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue, and wasn't cleared to play in the National Basketball Association. It's always been my dream. 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. It was the second straight year Austin, now 23, tried to leave Baylor early. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during two seasons at Baylor, and while his time off may have hurt his stock a bit, this is a guy who was considered to have serious National Basketball Association potential before his Marfan syndrome diagnosis. He had declared for the 2013 draft, but returned to Baylor following a shoulder injury.

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Marfan syndrome can be fatal and some athletes have died during competition as a result, most notably 6-5 volleyball player Flo Hyman, was 31 when she died in 1986.

Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin has one of the toughest roads ever to get where he is today.

Now that he's been cleared to return to the floor, Austin should have a chance to make good on his potential, whether it's domestically with an NBA Development League team or overseas with a foreign club looking for interior reinforcements.


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