Right after I woke up yesterday, my dad told me the devastating news about former Baylor center Isaiah Austin. If you’re not a basketball fan and are unaware about who I’m talking about, Isaiah is a 7’1, 220 lb sophomore who helped lead the bears to many victories this past season including making it to the Sweet 16 in the Men’s Basketball Championship. As a huge Baylor basketball fan, I spent most of my days cheering on the men and lady bears throughout their journeys in the season. I cheered, yelled, clapped, and cried with them in their wins and ultimately, in their losses. However, this loss is a big one. Isaiah has suffered through many trials in his basketball journey, including the January announcement of his gradual blindness after the retina in his right eye tore 6 years ago. Despite being half-blind, Isaiah persevered and didn’t let his eye problems stop him. He went on to become a quick basketball star whose long limbs and extreme height allowed him to tower over most college players. He’s been a key player on the Baylor team and shocked and excited many when he announced his participation in the NBA draft. Although fans all over the country were skeptical about his decision (as he’s only a sophomore), Isaiah’s character and prominence in the basketball community proved his preparedness for the draft.
Yesterday Isaiah announced that he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome after undergoing a standard physical at the NBA. After his results came back positive for the genetic disorder, Isaiah was advised to quit playing basketball immediately. “They said I wouldn’t be able to play basketball anymore at a
competitive level,” Austin told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “They found the gene
in my blood sample. They told me that my arteries in my heart are
enlarged and that if I overwork myself and push too hard that my heart
could rupture. The draft is four days away, and I had a dream that my
name was going to be called.”(ESPN). Isaiah also reassured his fans of his character when he stated, “For all of my supporters, I just want to tell them sorry. I’m sorry
they couldn’t see me play in the NBA. But it’s not the end; it’s only
the beginning.” (ESPN).
As a huge fan of Isaiah as a person and a player, I’m devastated for him. It’s such a huge deal to have your dream right in front of you, only to have it ripped away days before. When it comes to dreams and life in general, it really is true that you never know what you have until it’s gone. Although Isaiah is suffering in unimaginable ways, it shows his true character in his positivity about the situation. When the going gets rough, take one from Isaiah and trust that there really are bigger and better plans for you in the end.