Over the last couple of decades, the NBA has seen a massive infusion of international talent. Players like Pau and Marc Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have made an enormous impact on the league.
This year there are a few international players who are expected to be first-round picks such as Rodions Kurucs, Frank Ntilikina, and Isaiah Hartenstein, but arguably the most intriguing is French big man Jonathan Jeanne.
At 7’2 with a nearly 7’7 wingspan and good athleticism with shooting range out to the three-point line, Jeanne was rising up draft boards. Unfortunately for Jeanne, his basketball career is now in jeopardy as he has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical:
French center Jonathan Jeanne, who was expected to be a first-round selection in the 2017 NBA draft, has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a potentially career-ending disorder, agent Bouna Ndiaye told The Vertical.
This is the same disorder that potential draft pick Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with ahead of the 2014 NBA Draft. Austin was only recently cleared to resume basketball activities in December of 2016. It will certainly be an uphill battle for Jeanne, but his agent says he hopes to one day resume his basketball career, via Charania:
Jeanne remains hopeful that he can one day resume his basketball career after extensive medical supervision, Ndiaye said.
Jeanne looked to be a first-round pick. He was the 19th-rated prospect by Draft Express and the 26th-rated by ESPN’s Chad Ford. His performance at the NBA Draft Combine turned heads, and many saw him as having tons of potential.
It is really sad that something like this had to happen to the soon to be 20-year-old. Hopefully, he will be able to overcome this and resume his promising basketball career and get his shot in the NBA.