Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Austin's dreams of playing in the NBA have ended, as the 7-foot-1 center from Baylor has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, an illness that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body.
Austin was expected to be selected during Thursday's NBA Draft after forgoing his final two years of collegiate eligibility.
"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 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."
Austin averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over 73 games at Baylor and finishes his career tied with current NBA player Quincy Acy for the second-most rejections (177) in school history.
The highly touted Dallas-area recruit, who is blind in his right eye, also set a Big 12 record with 18 blocks at this year's conference tournament and was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team as a sophomore. Austin was also a key contributor to Baylor's 2013 NIT Championship squad and helped the Bears reach the Sweet 16 of the most recent NCAA Tournament.