Isaiah Austin’s world turned upside down after the NBA hopeful was diagnosed with a career-ending genetic disorder days before the league's draft on Thursday.
So the organization orchestrated to do something special for him.
The crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center rose to their feet after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called out Austin’s name on behalf of the entire league.
“Like the other young men here tonight. Isaiah committed himself to endless hard work and dedication to a potential career as a professional basketball player,” said Silver. “And we wanted to make sure he fulfilled at least part of his dream.”
The 20-year-old Fresno, Calif. native was moved to tears.
Austin reacts to his name being called by Commissioner Silver.
The crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Cente stand to honour Austin.
“Thank you so much Commissioner Silver for making this the proudest day of my life,” said Austin in an Instagram update.
The 7-1 centre star played for Texas’ Baylor University and was diagnosed with a Marfan syndrome on Sunday. Baylor released the following statement, confirming the diagnosis:
"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 Drewsaid. "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.
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