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01/12/2016

In 2014, Isaiah Austin's life was going according to plan. He was playing basketball for Baylor in the NCAA and was projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Austin spent two seasons with the Bears and averaged a respectable 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He worked hard and performed at a high level despite being blind in his right eye since the age of 16. Even after the retinal detachment he continued to pursue his dreams and overcame the odds to play basketball.  

The 7-foot-1 center was ready for the next step; to play in the NBA. Before the draft though, was the NBA combine. Standard stuff: physicals, measurements, drills, media interviews, and athletic testing. Everything is done with NBA general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance. Austin underwent his standard physical. However, an electrocardiogram revealed an abnormally large heart and further test results came back positive for Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is a rare connective tissue disorder that can affect many different parts of the body. Just days before the draft, Austin was notified and told he needed to quit playing basketball. A career in the NBA appeared to be over. At the 2014 draft, however, Commissioner Adam Silver recognized Austin and drafted him with a ceremonial pick on behalf of the league. It was a touching and emotional moment...

Austin was devastated by the reality of his situation. His dreams were crushed. Later that year he created the Isaiah Austin Foundation to share his story and provide support, awareness, and donations for research towards those affected by Marfan syndrome. The mission statement: to inspire others to DREAM AGAIN. On Wednesday, November 30th 2016, through his Instagram account, Isaiah had something absolutely incredible to announce. He had been given a second chance...

Hopefully the next chapter of his story will see him on an NBA court, fulfilling his dream that was once put on hold. 

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