Isaiah Austin And Adam Silver Made Everybody Cry (Video)
Last night was supposed to be Isaiah Austin’s chance to enter the NBA. But on Sunday, he announced he had been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, supposedly eliminating his chance at being drafted. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had other ideas.
It was announced early on that Silver had invited former Baylor University center Austin to be his guest at the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26. What most fans didn’t know ahead of time was that Silver would make Austin a ceremonial draft pick. Austin clearly knew about it in advance (he was ready with his cap, after all) but was still overtaken with emotion when Silver called his name.
The whole video is worth watching.
And in case you had any doubt this kid was a class act:
“It’s one of the biggest blessings of my life,” Austin told ESPN after the standing ovation he received at the draft. “I worked so hard to get to this point and unfortunately it was taken away, but when God closes one door, he opens up another one.”
It is easy, especially if you’re the type who has always done better with books than with sportsballz (that would be me), to dismiss sports as a stupid diversion from the world’s real problems. I used to do that. But over the years, I’ve come to see the value of sport, not in just the actual act of athleticism, but in the stories it provides us.
For most of us, sports provide an opportunity to witness the Sturm und Drang of life played out before us with rules and referees, a kind of safe entertainment. But for a lot of kids, participation in sport enhances and even saves their lives. For someone like Isaiah Austin, the chance to play in the NBA was everything — until, after a moment of horrifying discovery, it suddenly wasn’t.
I hope he gets to be the richest and most successful coach in the entire world, and that he gets all the other things he wants, and that in ten, twenty, thirty years this exceptional man can look back at this moment and feel that it really and truly happened for a good reason.
Words can’t explain how thankful I am for the time I had to play this wonderful sport. It changed my life forever. #NewBeginnings
— God’s Child (@IsaiahAustin) June 22, 2014