NBA hopeful Austin has Marfan syndrome

Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin (21, right) hugs head coach Scott Drew (left) during the second...

Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin (21, right) hugs head coach Scott Drew (left) during the second half in the semifinals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament against the Wisconsin Badgers at Honda Center on Mar 27, 2014 in Anaheim, CA, USA. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 3:29 PM ET

Baylor center Isaiah Austin, an NBA hopeful, is ending his playing career after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

Marfan syndrome affects the body's connective tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, complications from it can weaken the aorta, the artery that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

"Words can't explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. It changed my life forever," Austin wrote on Twitter. "... I would love to thank EVERYONE who has reached out to me. Toughest days of my life. But not the last! Life goes on. GOD IS STILL GREAT!"

Baylor coach Scott Drew said in a statement on Sunday that the diagnosis means Austin will not be able to play in the NBA. Drew said he hopes Austin will return to Baylor and complete his degree.

Austin, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, announced in April that he was leaving Baylor to enter Thursday's NBA draft.

He averaged 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds last season for the Bears.


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