What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore and then run? In fact, it does neither. If the dream belongs to Isaiah Austin, it will work itself into another dream.
On a Thursday night in 2014, NBA hopefuls found their silver lining in the clouds of hard work and adversity. While all could not be selected, the sheer fact that these phenomenal athletes made it that far was amazing in itself.
The 2014 draft proved once again that anything is truly possible. It was business as usual with the draft toting a few surprises along the way with the lottery picks. That year the Cleveland Cavaliers snagged Andrew Wiggins as the overall number one pick.
The true highlight of the night arose when NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, called Isaiah Austin between the 15th and 16th selection. The Barclays Center was overwhelmed with emotion. The league symbolically selected Austin to fulfill part of the then 20-year old’s dream.
The 7’1 center from Baylor University was expected to be a late selection in the first round. Averaging 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, Austin would have been a nice fit for a team that needed a dependable center. His dream was crushed when the preliminary physical the league administers revealed he has Marfan syndrome- a disorder that negatively affects the connective tissue of the body. A highly likely possibility is if undiagnosed, Austin could have potentially over exerted himself, causing his heart to rupture. The amazing part of this all is that Austin found the good in the bad news. Suffering from a detached retina that left him without sight in one eye, Austin wasn’t a new comer to receiving bad news. He humbly dealt with it and has proven to do the same with this career ending diagnosis.
When the Baylor center decided to enter the draft, he like so many hoped is life long dream would be fulfilled. Receiving the news may have been a disappointment, but Austin was grateful that he was able to find out now rather than later. With grace and humility Isaiah Austin decided to “Dream Again“ and educate the public on his condition. Honoring Austin will possibly be the best moment of NBA draft history to date. Although many felt like it was the end. It was only the beginning.
Austin has now been cleared to play in the NBA. More than two years later, his dream is now a possibility. He will enter the free agent pool where talented big men are lacking.
Austin announced, “Ever since the draft, I’ve been getting checked by my doctors. And through those check-ups, we’ve been monitoring my heart, making sure nothing has changed…He said that I’m stable. I am cleared. I am about to be out here pursuing my dream.”
Congratulations to Austin. His dream may have been deferred , but it was not denied.
Check out Isaiah Austin’s announcement