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NBA makes special pick in draft, selects Isaiah Austin whose playing career is over

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NEW YORK — 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.

PHOTO: Baylor center Isaiah Austin, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being granted ceremonial first round pick during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. Austin, who was projected to be a first round selection was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just four days before the draft. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Baylor center Isaiah Austin, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being granted ceremonial first round pick during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. Austin, who was projected to be a first round selection was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just four days before the draft. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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.

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