Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin has signed his first professional contract with FMP Belgrade in Serbia, a club affiliate of Serbian powerhouse Red Star Belgrade.
Ex-Baylor standout Isaiah Austin signed first pro-deal with Red Star Belgrade affiliate FMP to play Adriatic league, his agent confirmed.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) January 8, 2017
Austin, 23, announced the signing through a message on his Facebook page:
“After 2014 I was told this day would never come, but God is great and has been with me this whole time, so here I am!” Austin wrote. “Signing my first professional basketball contract ever, and I am so grateful!”
A projected lottery pick, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome. According to The Marfan Foundation, it is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissue together. It also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. Since connective tissue is throughout the body, the disease can spread to several body parts, including the heart, brain, lungs and nervous system. The spreading is what concerned doctors, and although Marfan is not curable, it is treatable.
The diagnosis was discovered through the pre-draft process and days before the biggest day of his life, Austin was told his career would have to end immediately.
Even though he would never be able to play, Austin received outpouring support from the NBA community, including when NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, made Austin the ceremonial pick in the 2014 draft between the 15th and 16th picks. This special moment for Austin and his family will forever go down as one of the most heart-wrenching moments in this history of the NBA Draft.
It will be interesting to see if Austin can gather NBA teams attention with a good showing. Red Star is one of the more dominate teams in Europe and have former Milwaukee Bucks guard Nate Wolters currently on their roster.
Austin came to Baylor as a McDonald’s All-American and showcased incredible skill and IQ as a stretch-4. Spending only two seasons at Baylor before entering the leaving early for the draft, he averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game, while making the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
Everybody is pulling for Austin, waiting to see if he can reach his dream of playing on an NBA roster.