There are a lot of you that read this that aren’t sports fans. That’s ok but I have to say that not being a sports fan sometimes you miss incredible moments in human history. That’s a bit overstated but when something like last night happens it’s hard for me to not comment or reminisce. Young people, as much as they drive us “olders” (I won’t say elders…yet) crazy, they can show heart and resilience like none other. When adversity strikes and someone handles it like Isaiah Austin did, every parent should use this as a teaching moment for their own children. It’s important to remember that this is not the first time Isaiah has overcome. When he was in junior high school Isaiah suffered an eye injury that left him with a detached retina and completely blind in one eye. He was fitted for a prosthetic eye and continued to grow and play basketball. He would eventually earn his way to Baylor University where he would be the starting center. It soon became clear that Isaiah would be a first round pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Just a few days before the draft, during a routine doctor physical they discovered that he has a genetic condition called Marfan Syndrome. A heart condition that basically means given the right condition of exertion, Isaiah could die on the court. His dream ended instantly. Unfortunately there are people out there that are like, “so what…he can’t play basketball anymore, boo hoo. Now he’s like the rest of us and will have to work for a living…” To you: you obviously have no idea the “work” that goes into being a professional athlete. I guarantee that this young man has “worked” harder in his short career that most people will in a lifetime. Secondly, I’m sure you have something you love. Maybe it’s playing a guitar, reading books, riding motorcycles, playing golf, hunting, fishing or just sitting on your ass watching tv, you know something you spent many many hours on to do well…now imagine a doctor tells you that if you continue, it will kill you. How would you handle it? Probably not with the grace that young Isaiah Austin did. Not only did Isaiah lose a mulit million dollar career but a dream, a life time pursuit of a dream.
In an incredible and poignant moment during the NBA draft last night Adam Silver went to the podium and delivered a great moment. Isaiah and his family were invited by Mr. Silver but didn’t know what was about to happen. The moment was fantastic and the interview afterwards was amazing. I didn’t have the chance to see it live but I’ll tell you I got pretty emotional hearing on the radio this morning. I am impressed by this young man, I would like to shake his hand someday. Please take 2 minutes and watch below.