Former Baylor basketball star Isaiah Austin had his dreams of becoming an NBA player cut short after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just days before the 2014 draft. Per Baylor's official statement, "Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body."
Despite the setback, Austin, 20, may still be affiliated with the league once his education is complete in Waco.
Austin told TMZ.com that he has been offered an NBA job by commissioner Adam Silver, with the stipulation that he finishes his degree at Baylor. He also said he's already doing a little work now for the NBA Cares program.
Silver added an unexpected twist to the draft that made Austin's night far brighter. Just days after learning of the diagnosis that ended his basketball career, Austin heard his name called, having been made an honorary selection by the NBA.
Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson was one of many who felt the classy gesture was wonderful to witness:
Austin moment was so good...so good— Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) June 27, 2014
If the league office isn't ultimately in Austin's plans, the 7-footer may be an imposing presence patrolling the sidelines as a coach, possibly at Baylor, per NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper:
I never really thought of coaching but I always knew that I still wanted to be a part of the game somehow or some way, whether it was creating a foundation for the young kids and still being around the game or even having my own basketball camp one day. I am taking this into consideration because it is going to be a great opportunity for me. My brother's still at Baylor and to still be a part of a great program.
What would you most like to see Isaiah Austin do?
Instead of dwelling on what could have been a promising professional career as a player, Austin is making the best of his circumstances. His inspiring outlook has been met with support ever since this year's draft.
Whatever path Austin decides on, he has the mindset to deal with anything that comes his way. With Commissioner Silver and many others serving as fervent supporters, Austin's future looks bright.