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With Gilas, Isaiah Austin found a chance to play basketball again

MANILA, Philippines — The chance to join Gilas Pilipinas is Isaiah Austin’s second lease on life — by every sense of it.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be playing basketball again,” Austin said during Chooks-to-Go’s practice at the Meralco Gym on Thursday night. “It’s definitely a second go-around for me. I take it very, very seriously.”

Isaiah Austin during Chooks-to-Go's practice as the Meralco Gym, Thursday night. | Philstar.com Photos/Michael Gaptandan
The 7-foot-1 Austin was projected to become a first-round draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft but that dream got derailed after he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that puts his connective tissues at risk.

The 23-year-old was eventually cleared by doctors to play competitive basketball in 2016. His first foray into the professional leagues was with KK FMP Beograd in Serbia. He then moved to play for the Guangxi Weizhuang Rhinos in China.

“I know how it feels to have the game to be taken away from me so I don’t take it for granted at all anymore. Each and every day is a new day for me — a new day to get better somehow, somewhere,” Austin, product of Baylor University, shared.

Author: Denison Rey A. Dalupang, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/09/15/1739415/gilas-isaiah-austin-found-chance-play-basketball-again

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