Former Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin, whose dream of becoming an NBA star was crushed this week after a career-ending diagnosis, has an insurance policy worth at least $1 million, reports ESPN.
A pre-draft physical found that the 7-foot-1 Austin has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. Those who have it are discouraged from taking part in strenuous exercise to avoid overtaxing the heart. Austin told ESPN that doctors found his arteries are enlarged and told him that if he played competitively, his heart could rupture.
Austin took out an insurance policy through the NCAA’s elite athlete insurance program. A college basketball player typically pays about $5,000 per million, and an athlete can collect the amount he is insured for only if he has a total disability that ends his career, says ESPN. Insurance policies that cover career-ending situations usually include a 12-month wait period as the insurer sees whether the athlete can make an attempt to recover. However, Austin’s case should be resolved sooner, since there’s little debate over his diagnosis and doctors’ recommendations.
Austin was projected to be a mid- to late second-round pick in yesterday’s NBA draft. Instead, he was the ceremonial first round pick.