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Despite draft-week tragedy, NBA 2K15 makes rookie's hoop dreams come true

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Isaiah Austin was projected to be a top pick in the NBA Draft this June, but then doctors discovered a potentially fatal condition that ended his real-life career. In NBA 2K15, though, he will make his pro debut this week.

Less than a week before the NBA Draft, Austin, a 7-foot-1 center from Baylor, was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the body's connective tissue. His major arteries were found to be abnormally large and at risk of rupture, forcing his immediate and untimely retirement.

Austin withdrew from the draft but was still invited to attend it as the guest of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who then promised Austin a job with league upon completion of his college degree. 2K Sports, the maker of the NBA 2K series, recently rendered Austin in-game with the high-tech facial scanning procedure it uses for the major superstars of the league. This week's regular roster update will include Austin in the free agent pool.

That makes Austin available to any team in any gameplay mode begun with that roster file (ongoing career modes using rosters preceding this one are unaffected).

Austin was selected to the Big 12's all-freshman team in 2013, and was a member of the conference's all-defensive team in 2014. With him, Baylor won the 2013 National Invitation Tournament, as Austin recorded 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and four assists in the championship game.

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