HoopsHype Isaiah Austin rumors

June 26, 2014 Updates
June 24, 2014 Updates
June 23, 2014 Updates

Former Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin, who saw his dreams of playing in the NBA abruptly come to a halt this week, has an insurance policy worth at least $1 million, his agent Dwon Clifton confirmed to ESPN.com. "We will get through this week and then we'll file the claim and get the ball rolling," Clifton said. ESPN.com

"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," Baylor coach Scott Drew said in a news release from the university. "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." USA Today Sports

June 22, 2014 Updates

Former Baylor center Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a career-ending medical condition. Genetic testing as part of preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft revealed that Austin suffers from Marfan syndrome. "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 Drew said. "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." BaylorBears.com

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. For more information, visit www.marfan.org. BaylorBears.com

A 7-foot-1 center from Arlington, Texas, Austin revealed during his sophomore season that he is blind in his right eye as a result of a detached retina suffered as a teenager. He was expected to be the first to ever play in the NBA while partially blind. Austin played two seasons at Baylor before declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft. He played in 73 games (72 starts) and averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game. Austin finished his Baylor career tied for second on the school's all-time blocked shots list with 177, and his 119 blocks as a sophomore led the Big 12 Conference. Baylor went a combined 49-26 during his two-year career, winning the 2013 NIT Championship and advancing to the 2014 NCAA Sweet 16. BaylorBears.com

June 21, 2014 Updates

Blake, though, isn’t sure if Austin’s disability will prevent him from being chosen when the NBA holds its annual two-round draft Thursday. “It’s not like a bad back or a knee that might get reinjured,” said Blake, who is the senior director of NBA scouting operations. “He plays with it. “He plays well within himself and those are really strong qualities that we like about him, because with the way that he can move away from the ball and make good decisions, he plays angles well and he’s an intelligent player. Even if he doesn’t get drafted in the second round, he’s going to be coveted for the summer league by multiple teams.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Austin said the fact that he’s blind in one eye never came up during his workouts with the NBA teams. “There was nobody that told me it was a red flag,’’ Austin said. “Everybody just said they just can’t believe that I do the things that I do with it. “It’s not a factor to me any more. At first it was when it first happened, but I pushed through it, I persevered, and I’m here now.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Other than revealing it to teammates, close friends and family members, Austin and his family didn’t reveal that he was blind in his right eye until January. So why the secret over the past eight years? “We chose to do that because we never wanted it to be an excuse,” Green said. “And so if he made it to the next level it was because he deserved to make it to the next level, not because somebody felt sorry for him or they gave him special concessions or anything like that. “I almost feel like it was worse for us than for him because of the fact that you hear the critics and they say he’s too this, he’s too that, he’s too soft. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘If you only knew how much he had to persevere [through] to get to where he’s at.’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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