NBA Commissioner honors Isaiah Austin with a ceremonial draft pick

The NBA honored star college player Isaiah Austin with a ceremonial draft pick last night – just days after he learned that a rare genetic condition meant he would never be able to play again.

Austin, who played for Baylor University in Texas, was expected to be picked in the second round of the draft, but less than a week ago he learned the devastating news that he had a rare genetic condition called Marfan syndrome, which affects the body’s connective tissue.

He said before the diagnosis he had dreamed of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reading out his name at the draft – and on Thursday night, Silver made that dream a reality.

‘I want to take a moment to recognize Baylor center Isaiah Austin,’ Silver said between the 15th and 16th picks in the first round.

‘You may have heard about Isaiah. He is one of the nation’s best collegiate players, and was expected to be picked tonight before the discovery just a few days ago that he had a genetic disorder called Marfan syndrome and is no longer able to play competitive basketball.

‘Like the other young men here tonight, Isaiah committed himself through endless hard work and dedication to a potential career as a professional basketball player, and we wanted to make sure he fulfilled at this part of his dream.

‘So it gives me great pleasure to say, that with the next pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the NBA selects Isaiah Austin from Baylor University.’

Austin, who was at the event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with his family, hugged his relatives and wiped away his tears as he took to the stage, while the crowd stood and cheered.

Before shaking hands with Silver, he put on a hat with the NBA logo – rather than the team logos worn by the other newly-picked drafts.

Read more at The DailyMail Online.

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