NBA prospect's inspirational response to his career-ending illness

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by Nick Schwartz / For The Win, USA Today

KING5.com

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Four days before the NBA Draft, former Baylor Bears star Isaiah Austin shared heartbreaking news. On Sunday, Baylor announced that Austin had been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, which was discovered during a pre-draft physical. The rare genetic disorder affects 1-in-5,000 people, and it will end his basketball career.

Austin was expected to be a second-round pick in the draft, following a solid sophomore year with the Bears. The 7-foot-1 center averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disease that affects the heart, circulatory system and skeleton.

Austin isn’t letting the bad news keep him down, though. Austin, a spiritual man, tweeted his thanks to the thousands of fans and players that have reached out to him over the last few days. On his Instagram account, Austin wrote the following message:

    “This game. It is a platform for anyone and everyone who comes in contact with it. I was blessed enough to play it on one of the highest levels despite the odds that were stacked against me. Blessed is all I can say. Thankful is all I can be. The love from you all is greatly appreciated! I know God has a plan! If I can say one to to anyone, it would be please, please do not take the privilege of playing sports or anything for granted. #NewBeginningsFollow”

 

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