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Former basketball standout joins Marfan Foundation

  • The Associated Press
  • Published Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 2:44 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 2:44 p.m.

— A college basketball standout whose NBA dreams ended because of a rare disease is a new spokesman for the Marfan Foundation.

Twenty-year-old Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just ahead of last month's NBA draft, in which he was projected to be a first-round pick. The diagnosis forced the former Baylor center to quit playing competitive basketball.

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. Undiagnosed patients are at risk of sudden death from a tear or rupture of their aorta.

Record label executive Ronald "Slim" Williams joined Austin for Saturday's announcement in Baltimore. Williams also has Marfan syndrome and will also serve as a spokesman for the foundation, which raises awareness of the disease.

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