Isaiah Austin signs with Crvena Zvezda

Isaiah Austin signs with Crvena ZvezdaIsaiah Austin (216 cm, Baylor’14) has signed with Crvena Zvezda from Serbia (KLS and Euroleague). That team immediately sent him to its affiliate FMP Beograd. It is the first professional contract for Isaiah Austin and also his debut in Europe. It is an unusual signing because it doesn’t happen very often that a player straight out of college signs with a Euroleague team. Especially not if he has been inactive for two seasons in a row.

But there is more to this story. Isaiah (nickname Zeke) only played two seasons of college basketball. He averaged 11.2 ppg and 5.5 rpg and an amazing 3.1 blocks for Baylor. He came to Baylor as a Highschool McDonald’s All-American. Later he was selected to the Big 12 All rookie team, as well as Big 12 All-Defensive team. His uncle Isaac Austin played for seven teams during his nine-year NBA career.

On April 22, 2014, Isaiah Austin declared for the 2014 NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility. He had been considered a first-round prospect in the draft until he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome and he also revealed a problem with his right eye as a result of a spontaneous retinal detachment that occurred during middle school.

In 2016, he was cleared to continue playing basketball after a two-year stint away from the game.

It is a remarkable signing indeed by Crvena Zvezda (Red Star). Probably one of the most remarkable at this level in recent years. But the payoff could be big. Both for the team and the player.


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