The NBA produced a memorable moment Thursday with a touching tribute to former Baylor center Isaiah Austin.
Austin played two seasons at Baylor before declaring for the draft earlier this year. He was expected to be a second-round pick, but that was until he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome less than a week ago.
Austin decided to retire because there is too much of a risk of his heart rupturing if he continues to play basketball. Because of the diagnosis, he’ll never be able to realize his dream of playing in the NBA. But that didn’t stop commissioner Adam Silver from recognizing Austin and giving him a special moment during the middle of the first round.
Austin received a standing ovation and many positive tweets from the NBA family.
Congrats to @IsaiahAustin! You're a well spoken, talented guy. I hope you continue achieving your dreams.
— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) June 27, 2014
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
I almost shed a tear for Isaiah Austin. Very Nice Gesture by the NBA. salute
— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) June 27, 2014
Happy Isaiah Austin was able to hear his name called at the NBA draft. Very cool to see.
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) June 27, 2014
The young man was beaming when he was called up on stage:
“It’s one of the biggest blessings of my life,” Austin said in an interview with ESPN’s Jay Williams. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point and unfortunately it was taken away, but when God closes one door, he opens up another for you.
“It’s been the toughest week of my life, but I have a great support system behind me. My family has been with me the whole way. And God is really just putting will power in my heart to help me get through this.”Google+