Isaiah Austin is back in North Texas less than 24 hours after receiving an honorary draft pick from the NBA in New York.
Austin helped coach the young men from Mo Williams Academy at the Show Tyme Classic in Duncanville Friday night.
“Basketball is my love and joy,” Austin said. "I’m always going to be around the game no matter what, but playing basketball brings a player a different feeling, and you know I’ll never be able to experience that ever again, and it’s something I’ll miss for the rest of my life."
Six days before Austin expected to be a National Basketball Association first-round draft pick, he learned the devastating news that his time on the court was over.
“Just scared really – it’s a terrible feeling,” Austin said. “Nobody should be able to experience that.”
Austin, who left school at Baylor University early to enter the NBA draft, was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome on June 21 during a physical.
The condition can weaken the aorta, the artery that supplies blood to the body from the heart, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“It’s been a huge blessing in disguise from God for me to be able to share my testimony with everybody around the world,” Austin said. “I’m happy that things turned out the way they did because He really did save my life by finding out.”
In what can only be described as an emotional roller coast, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver helped Austin fulfill one of his dreams when he received an honorary draft pick from the NBA on Thursday.
“It was an unbelievable moment," Austin said. "I had so many mixed emotions about it. I teared up of course because it’s always been my dream to walk across that stage.”
Austin is back in North Texas and praising the people here who will carry him through life after basketball.
“Texas is my home. It’s me,” Austin said. “I love everything about it[...]all my friends in Arlington[...]those are my main support system, and my family is here.”
“It’s just love out here. I love it,” Austin said.
Austin told NBC 5 that his main priority is finishing his business degree at Baylor University.
He also has several job offers including one from NBA Commissioner Silver to possibly work with the NBA Cares program and another offer to coach at Baylor.