The NBA honored former Baylor star Isaiah Austin with an honorary pick during Thursday's 2014 NBA draft.
Austin, who was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome and forced to prematurely give up his dream of professional basketball, was called up to the stage by commissioner Adam Silver while the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
The NBA's Instagram account provided a look at the heart-warming moment:
Kevin Durant weighed in, praising Silver for the move:
Adam silver is such a classy man! That's love right there. I'm emotional for him. Damn I love that— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 27, 2014
Many others were quick to applaud the new commissioner. Campus Insiders' Bonnie Bernstein and SI's Chris Mannix put it simply:
Between his poised approach to Sterling mess & this wonderful Isaiah Austin moment, Adam Silver's batting 1.000 as NBA Commissioner— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) June 27, 2014
Adam Silver has been flawless as commissioner— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 27, 2014
Still, while Silver and the NBA created a beautiful, touching moment, Austin was the deserved star.
Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle has more on Austin:
Baylor has offered Isaiah Austin a coaching job and Adam Silver has offered him a job with the NBA after he earns his degree.— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) June 27, 2014
Ever since receiving the devastating news that would keep him from the NBA, he has handled himself with unbelievable poise. Others might fall apart in a similar position, but Austin has revealed his fantastic character by being so open and positive.
Austin talked about the draft on CNN's New Day on Friday morning:
He showed off his infectious attitude before the draft:
ESPN's Josina Anderson captured this quote from Austin, as the amount of dry eyes at the Barclays Center exponentially decreased:
Isaiah Austin: "I'm going to dream again."— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 27, 2014
Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson and ESPN's Dana O'Neil chimed in:
Austin moment was so good...so good— Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) June 27, 2014
Incredible poise from Austin in that interview. Wow...— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) June 27, 2014
What a moment.
It would be great if the NBA followed through and found a way to use Austin in some capacity. Whether or not that happens, though, this young man has proven he has the will and attitude to find success in life.
Basketball or no basketball.