Isaiah AustinFor any young basketball player, reaching the NBA is a dream that they carry around, hopefully spurring them on and inspiring them to reach new heights. It is clear that for every player that makes it to the NBA, countless millions fall short or gives up a great distance away from being a basketball player at the top of the game. This is the nature of the sport and it is why so many people watch and love basketball because it is a sport where the athletes have to struggle and fight to reach the top of the sport.

Some players will find that they aren’t talented enough, fit enough or driven enough to get to the NBA. Some players will find that they don’t get the luck or good fortune that is required to see them reach the top. All of these elements will have an impact on the people that make it to the NBA Draft and everyone who makes it to the stage has a story to tell.

Not many players in the 2014 NBA Draft have a story to tell like Isaiah Austin though. As of yet, we don’t know if Austin will be one of the 60 players picked in the 2014 NBA Draft but no matter the outcome of the Draft, his story and effort deserves a lot of praise and attention. Austin suffered blindness in his right eye when he picked up an injury in a baseball game six years. He has now permanently lost the sight in his right eye but even with this massive obstacle in place, Austin finds himself less than a week away from possibly being an NBA player. This is a story of determination, mental attitude and of course, skill and these are all elements that the American public and sports fans love to hear about. If any team decides that Austin is the player for them, you can bet that they will have a few more casual fans rooting for them and wanting them to win this season.

A slam dunk caused big problems for Austin

While Austin didn’t require any surgery at the time of the incident he was told to monitor his eye and be on the lookout for any pain. The eye would gradually deteriorate but the problem came to a head in a school basketball game back in 2008. Austin pulled off a slam dunk, the crowd cheered but the force and power that he put into the dunk led to his retina becoming detached. The ophthalmologist that treated Austin the following day said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen in over 20 years of working in this field.

It has clearly been a battle for Austin to forge a career in basketball and this will always be the case for the player. Every time he prepares for a game, Austin takes the time to go out onto the court as early as possible and practice shots. This helps him to understand the depth of the court and positions. The player has learned to trust shadows and has picked up an understanding of where he should be on the court at certain times but he cannot take anything for granted. So he makes times and properly prepares himself for every single game.

This is the sort of determination that has pushed Austin to the brink of the NBA and if any of the sides take a chance on the player in the 2014 NBA Draft, it is the hard work and effort he will apply in the top league.