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NBA Recognizes Baylors’ Isaiah Austin By Selecting Him In Draft

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Isaiah Austin of Baylor (R) is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as he is honored on stage during the 2014 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Isaiah Austin of Baylor (R) is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as he is honored on stage during the 2014 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Between the 15th and 16th picks in Thursday night’s draft came a very special selection by the NBA.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced at that point that the NBA would let Isaiah Austin fulfill the dream of every young player, making him a ceremonial pick.

Just over a week ago, the sophomore center from Baylor was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. It ended his playing career.

In an interview with CBS 11 Sports earlier this week Austin said, “There are some things you just have to deal with in life. This is one of those things I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, unfortunately.” Austin talked with CBS 11 while on the basketball court at Mo Williams Academy where he was mentoring young athletes.

The illness was discovered during a physical for the draft.

The crowd at Barclays Center rose to its feet as Austin, sitting in the waiting area with most of the first-round picks, hugged family members and put on a generic NBA cap. He went up to the stage and posed with Silver, just as all the drafts picks do when they are called.

During the season, the 7-foot-1 Austin revealed he had a prosthetic right eye after multiple operations couldn’t repair a detached retina.

Austin, expected to be a high pick when healthy, said he felt he has “a great story to share.” He said Baylor coach Scott Drew has already offered him a coaching position with the Bears.

Austin, who also plans to return to Baylor in the fall for his degree, credits his family, his coaches and teammates, and his deep faith in God’s plan for his life for seeing him through this period in his life.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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