After finding out a genetic disorder would prevent him from playing professional ball, Isaiah Austin, a center on the Baylor University basketball team, was drafted anyway in a special presentation at last night's 2014 NBA Draft ceremony.
Met by a standing ovation, Austin was called on stage by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who announced the honorary selection between the 15th and 16th picks.
"He is one of the nation's best collegiate players and was expected to be picked tonight," Silver stated. "Isaiah committed himself to endless hard work and dedication to a potential career as a professional basketball player, and we wanted to make sure he fulfilled at least this part of his dream. So it gives me great pleasure to say that the next pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the NBA selects Isaiah Austin from Baylor University."
Just like that, Austin became a first-round select.
In tears, Austin walked on stage and smiled for the crowd. The 20-year-old recently discovered he was suffering from Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue and can sometimes be life-threatening. He had every intention of joining the pros this year, but his dream took an unexpected turn.
Austin converted the obstacle into something positive, and has already started a foundation supporting those with his disorder under the name "Dream Again." He aims to use his spotlight for a larger purpose, and has created super cool t-shirts to go along with the cause.
We are certain this is the first of many dreams come true for Austin.