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 it is Isaiah Austin’s dream. It will work itself into another dream. Thursday night was where 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 this far is 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. 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’s name between the 15th and 16th selection. The Barclay center was overwhelmed with emotion. The league symbolically selected Austin to fulfill part of the 20 year old’s dream. The 7’1 center from Baylor University in Waco, Texas was expected to be a selection in the second 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 isn’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 Austin has 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 one door has closed another has opened. Scott Drew, Baylor University’s head coach for the men’s basketball team , hopes Austin will finish his degree and join Baylor’s basketball program as a coach. Austin is also covered by a $1M insurance policy that is payable in full upon career ending disabilities. It is in no way, shape or form softening the news, but it can help further his new dreams. “It’s not the end. It’s the beginning”.
Catch the highlight below:
My only concern seams to stem from the in depth physicals college athletes may or may not receive. Could the analysis be more thorough?