By Stefan Anderson
At a young age, my mother asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up”, I replied in my most innocent voice by replying “Ma, I want to be in the NBA”. She then replied with the most harsh reality a young child can get similar to finding out there is no Santa Claus, “Son, you’re never going to make it to the NBA “. I was crushed, but she was just preparing for the realistic approach of playing professional basketball was a hard task.
But what if you grew to become to a 7-foot tall, played in the McDonalds All American Game, became a star player at Big 12 school. You are on the brink reaching your childhood dream of becoming a NBA dream and then your dream is sold short. What do you do?
Isiah Austin is dealing with the worst defeat of his young life. Austin during his draft workouts for this years upcoming draft, he was diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome. The genetic disorder puts Austin at risk to have his heart rupture if he continues his basketball career which ultimately puts his career to a end. Projected to be a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, Austin was heading to pursue his lifetime dream now has to watch it on hold. Already suffering from being blind out of one eye, Isiah Austin has dealt with his fair share of adversity already. But this might be all that one can handle and it has to be rough on the young athlete’s end.
With Austin and Joel Embiid now suffering injuries prior to the draft and harming the draft stock or ending their career respectively puts them in a category with Yao Ming, Greg Oden and Sam Bowie , just to name a few. In today’s modern day NBA, it is starting to become rare to see 7 footers that can sustain the currents pace and have their bodies hold up for a long career. To see the once trend to go big in NBA , now go away and become extinct is amazing, but change it inevitable
Austin can still receive some compensation because of an insurance policy worth at least $1 million, which he took out prior to declaring for this year’s draft. The NBA also provided Austin with the bittersweet opportunity to sit in the green room in Thursday’s draft, but Austin will still sit in despair as he cannot hear his name being called by Commissioner Adam Silver.