BALTIMORE (AP) — A college basketball standout whose NBA dreams ended because of a rare disease is a new spokesman for the Marfan Foundation.
Twenty-year-old Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just ahead of last month's NBA draft, in which he was projected to be a first-round pick. The diagnosis forced the former Baylor center to quit playing competitive basketball.
Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. Undiagnosed patients are at risk of sudden death from a tear or rupture of their aorta.
Record label executive Ronald "Slim" Williams joined Austin for Saturday's announcement in Baltimore. Williams also has Marfan syndrome and will also serve as a spokesman for the foundation, which raises awareness of the disease.