June 22, 2014

Baylor Center and NBA prospect Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a career-ending genetic disorder.: Austin has been diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, meaning the connective tissues in his body are weakened and he likely has an enlarged aorta. Austin, a 7'1" Center also has a detached retina in his right eye. He was pegged as a late first/early second round draft pick and would have been the first partially-blind NBA player.

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 04:43 PM - 3 comments

What a crushing bit of news just four days from realizing his dream of being drafted and signing a lucrative contract.

posted by rcade at 08:52 PM on June 22, 2014

It's really a shame that a promising career should be cut short by something like this. Still, I heard it said that his coming out for the draft this year just might have saved his life. Had he stayed in college, he would not have had the physical examination that hinted at the problem the subsequent genetic tests that confirmed Marfan Syndrome.

I've read that Abraham Lincoln was once suspected of having had Marfan. The idea was based upon Lincoln's unusual height and the physical changes observed in comparing photographs of Lincoln as he aged. This speculation has since been dismissed.

posted by Howard_T at 04:51 PM on June 23, 2014

As sad (and disappointing) as it must be, I must agree with Howard T that this is a blessing in disguise. Far better for him and his loved ones that the condition is discovered now rather than after he falls over dead on an NBA court. If I were his parent/sibling/partner/friend, I'd rather have him alive and growing old together as a working-class-stiff (Joe the plumber) than as a departed-much-too-young multimillionaire NBA player.

posted by billinnagoya at 07:47 AM on June 24, 2014

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