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NBA invites Baylor's Austin to draft

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 23 2014 07:37:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2014 10:04:47 AM CDT
Zach Hanson (40), Isaiah Austin (21)

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Baylor center Isaiah Austin, who was expected to be selected in the upcoming NBA draft before he was diagnosed with career-ending Marfan syndrome, was invited by the league to attend the draft.

According to Yahoo Sports, Austin accepted the offer extended by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

The 7-foot-1 Austin, who is legally blind in his right eye, discovered last weekend through genetic testing as part of the draft preparation that he has Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects the body's connective tissue. Because of potentially fatal complications involving the heart, Austin was forced to give us his dreams of a basketball career.

Austin, who is from Arlington, Texas, wrote Monday on Twitter, "Woke up today blessed. I feel God's healing hands around me. Love the support you have all been giving me. Never forget, GOD IS GREAT!"

When news of Austin's condition broke Sunday, he said in a statement issued by Baylor, "The draft is four days away, and I had a dream that my name was going to be called. I'm sorry (my fans) couldn't see me play in the NBA. But it's not the end, it's only the beginning."

As a sophomore for Baylor last season, Austin averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocked shots per game. He helped the Bears reach the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, where they lost to Wisconsin.