Potential Pistons pick Isaiah Austin has career-ending genetic condition

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Austin diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. An unfortunate and premature end to a talented player who battled long odds to get to the cusp of the NBA.

Earlier this month it was reported that a pair of Baylor big men -- Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson -- would be in Detroit to work out for the Pistons.

Unfortunately, it was announced over the weekend that Austin's dreams of playing in the NBA had been cut short as he was diagnosed with the rare medical condition Marfan syndrome.

From Baylor's official statement:

"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," 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."

Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that leads to problems in connective tissues throughout the body. One feature of Marfan syndrome is aortic enlargement, which can be life-threatening. According to The Marfan Foundation, about one in 5,000 people have Marfan syndrome. For more information, visit www.marfan.org.

Austin was already a well-known prospect not only for being a productive big man at Baylor and a legit NBA prospect, but because he was blind in one eye due to a detached retina earlier. Austin averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 73 games in two seasons with Baylor.

Even with his lifelong dream being abruptly halted, Austin has remained remarkably positive.

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