Jul 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
Days before the NBA Draft, former Baylor center Isaiah Austin revealed his playing career was over after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. This led to the most touching moment of draft night, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league had selected Austin.
That wasn’t just for show either. Austin told TMZ.com that he has a job waiting for him with the NBA, once he graduates from Baylor University.
Austin — who was ceremonially drafted by the NBA at the Draft back in June — tells us Silver already hooked him up with a part-time gig with the league’s NBA Cares program … and promised full-time work once he gets his degree.
The 7-foot-1 center was a projected second round pick, but heads back to Waco to finish up classes in August. In two seasons with Baylor, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. In February, Austin shared his inspirational story, playing blind in his right eye since he was a child. Despite the heartbreaking news, Austin has continued to inspire others by selling T-shirts on his website in an effort to raise money for Marfan syndrome research.
He has also helped spread awareness of the inherited disorder that 1 in 5,000 people have. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, visitors to marfan.org and donations to the foundation have spiked since June. The Marfan Foundation’s annual conference set had a record turnout, which included Austin.
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