Isaiah Austin being considered to be naturalized to play for Philippines’ national team
Former NBA prospect Isaiah Austin is reportedly being eyed by the Philippine national basketball team as their next naturalized player, according to Gilas Pilipinas Basketball. Gilas Pilipinas plans to bring in Austin to boost their squad for the upcoming FIBA-Asia Champions Cup in China later this month.
The 23-year-old Austin is a 7-foot-1 center who played college basketball at Baylor. He was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome in 2014, which was why he was not selected by any team in the 2014 NBA draft. He was instead made a ceremonial pick by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, fulfilling Austin’s dream of getting drafted.
However, Isaiah Austin has since been cleared to play and already resumed his professional career with Serbian club FMP last season. He is currently playing for Chinese club Guangxi Rhinos after joining them in July.
Austin would take the place of former NBA big man Andray Blatche in the Philippines’ roster. Blatche, who played nine seasons in the NBA for the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets, was naturalized by the Philippines in 2014. But instead of playing for Gilas Pilipinas, he will play against them as he is set to represent his Chinese club Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the upcoming tournament.