FAU appoints Isaiah Austin, whose NBA career aspirations were disrupted, as an assistant coach

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Isaiah Austin (Credits: NBC Sports)

Isaiah Austin never thought he’d be a coach. But now, he feels like it’s his purpose.

The ex-Baylor center, whose NBA dreams were dashed when he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome in 2014, was introduced as an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic on Friday.

This is Isaiah’s first real coaching gig. He’s 7-foot-1 and spent the past few years working with the NBA, not playing. He has a strong bond with Coach Jakus from their Baylor days and couldn’t say no when asked to join the FAU staff.

“I have a passion for giving, not just receiving,” Austin said. “This gives me a chance to give back to the game that’s given me so much. It’s like finding a silver lining in my life right now.”

Isaiah Austin

FAU has hired three assistant coaches to work with Jakus. Todd Abernethy is back for his sixth season, and Jordan Fee was recently hired. Fee had a successful season at Gannon and previously coached at Nova Southeastern, near FAU.

Coach Jakus has high praise for Austin, who has overcome many challenges. Despite being blind in one eye since middle school, he played college ball. After the Marfan diagnosis, he couldn’t be drafted by an NBA team, but he eventually returned to the court.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hired Austin to work for the league. Although he’s cleared to play again since 2016, he’s focusing on coaching. He still plays in Ice Cube’s BIG3 league and plans to continue this year.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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