As Isaiah Austin does interviews and photo opportunities at a recent sports con in Dallas, one can’t help, but think of what could have been. Everyone except Austin that is. He is more content in his life then many people who have endured far less struggles than Isaiah has. It all started when he was in middle school and took an elbow to the eye. The 7 footer suffered a detached retina and unfortunately after 3 years and 4 surgeries, he never recovered sight in that eye.
Amazingly, it never seemed to slow him down on the court at Arlington Grace Prep. He averaged 15 points, 11 boards and 5 blocks as a senior and was one of the top ranked players in the nation. From there he went on to play at Baylor, the only team he told of his blindness in that right eye. There he would average similar numbers in two years as his imposing 7 foot 1 inch frame would frustrate big 12 opponents. After declaring for the NBA draft after his sophomore year…..more terrible news. He would be diagnosed with Marfan syndrome….a genetic disorder that made the arteries in his heart abnormally large and would end his dreams of playing in the NBA.
Isaiah has made the most of his time in China. He played 4 seasons there and in two of those years, he averaged over 30 points a game. Currently he is in the Lebanese league and holds no bitterness towards the NBA.