Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Draft prospects who arrive early in town typically elect to visit the Boston Celtics‘ training facility to get up shots in advance of the next day’s audition. For Isaiah Austin, getting to a new gym early is a necessity, particularly in his quest to play at the NBA level.
Austin, a 7-foot-1 center out of Baylor University, revealed earlier this year that he is blind in his right eye, the result of a torn retina sustained before high school. As he visits NBA teams this month trying to boost his draft stock, Austin finds it helpful to test his depth perception in new gyms before his formal workouts.
Blind Side: Austin Sees NBA Opportunity-Chris Forsberg
This is just a great story about an even greater kid. Isaiah Austin, a 20 year old 7 footer from Arlington, Texas, worked out for the Boston Celtics last week. Austin was struck in the right eye with a baseball at the age of 15, and then two years later, he completely lost sight in the eye after he dunked a ball during pregame warm ups. His retina was detached, and he thought he’d never be able to play sports again. But after 5 surgeries and inner battles with fear and doubt, Austin is now making the rounds for NBA teams and hoping to be playing in the league next year. He wrapped up his sophomore season for Baylor a few months ago and averaged 11 points, 3 blocks & 5 rebounds in 28 minutes a game for the Bears. The kid just loves to play ball and hopes to inspire others with his story of hope & courage. He’s already made quite an impression on coach Brad Stevens:
“First of all, I’m a big fan of him. I think his story is inspirational,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “And him coming out and sharing his story was inspirational. I’ve got a good friend of mine who has gone through some issues with his eye, and that was one of the first stories that I shared with him. He’s a really neat kid.”
As Forsberg notes, Austin is an exceptional athlete with a freakish wingspan and the length to bother & block shots at the NBA level. However as with most college players, he’ll need to get in the weight room and bulk up lest he get pushed around down low by bigger & stronger guys in the league. Brad Stevens echoed those sentiments..
“He’s long, athletic, he can play out on the perimeter. I think he’s got a high ceiling,” Stevens said. “I think, obviously, he’s a guy that, if he continues to shoot the ball really well from the perimeter, can really be a versatile offensive player, and, defensively, he’s got such length. He’s got to put on some weight, there’s no question about it, but he’s a young guy that’s only going to get better and better and stronger and stronger.”
Scouts see Austin as a second-round pick, and that could make him a guy that does not end up being drafted by the guys in green. But which ever NBA organization decides to give this kid a shot has absolutely nothing to lose. He’s not just another skilled athlete- he’s also a down-to-earth young man who truly wants to help others and also possibly make a career for himself while doing what he loves.
“Being a basketball player is one thing, but being a great person is a whole different thing,” Austin said. “It’s a whole bigger standard. And I pride myself on being a great person. Basketball is a privilege, and I’m thankful for it, and I’m blessed to be able to play it. And I’m blessed to be this far. But as far as life goes, I have to make sure that I touch people with my personality first.”
Page 2: Happy Fathers Day Timmy-BEAT THE HEAT!
On behalf of everyone here at Red’s Army, I want to wish all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day. And on a Sunday when we’ll all be pulling for the Spurs to send those creeps from Miami packing, what could be more fitting than a Daddy Duncan pic. GO SPURS!!!!!!
The rest of the links:
Herald: Humphries Bayless Learn TV Lessons At Sportscaster U | Spurs Are Popular Choice | CSNNE: Report: Melo Leans Toward Leaving NY, Eyes Chicago, Houston | Project Spurs: Video: Ginobli: “I Plan To Play One, Two More Years”