Jonathan Jeanne, from France, participates in the running vertical jump at the NBA basketball draft combine

Jonathan Jeanne’s NBA Draft Dreams May Be Dashed By Marfan Syndrome Diagnosis Like Isaiah Austin

French basketball star Jonathan Jeanne, 19 was expected to be a first-round selection in the upcoming NBA draft, but his recent Marfan Syndrome diagnosis might have derailed his dream of international basketball stardom for good, as the disease is often fatal. The diagnosis was made while Jeanne was participating in the combine for the Chicago Bulls. It is possible under a doctor’s care for Jeanne to get cleared to play, but it is unlikely to happen this year. Until now, Jonathan Jeanne has been playing for SLUC Nancy Basket in France’s top league.

There are plenty of young faces in this year’s NBA draft, including Maryland’s Melo Trimble, who is leaving his team the Terps a year early to enter the pros. Fans and experts are divided on whether or not Trimble is making the right decision leaving school early, but the buzz that surrounded him has actually dulled over the last year as a result of a less than impressive 2016-2017 season. Melo Trimble at 6’3 is a decent size for an NBA point guard, but the official scouting report claims that it is unlikely that Trimble will hear his name on NBA draft night, but French star Jonathan Jeanne was said to go in the first round, probably around the 29th position.

At 7’2, French basketball star Jonathan Jeanne is a natural center, but his extreme height in combination with his long thin build can sometimes be an indicator of Marfan Syndrome. Jeanne’s agent Bouna Ndiaye explained what happened after the Chicago combine.

“Jeanne underwent an MRI while participating in the Chicago draft combine in May that showed an abnormality in his spine that required follow-up examinations. He completed medical, physical and genetic testing at the Cleveland Clinic and received the results Thursday.”

But what is Marfan Syndrome? Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues and is often found among basketball, volleyball players, and long distance runners. Baylor basketball star Isaiah Austin was also diagnosed during the pre-draft process back in 2014, and he announced in December of last year that he had been cleared to resume the rigorous schedule of a professional basketball player. Jonathan Jeanne has been playing professional basketball since he was sixteen years old, and is eager to get back to it.

Marfan Syndrome is not as rare as some might think, as there are 10k cases diagnosed in the U.K. alone. It is said that being a hereditary disorder, approximately 75 percent have inherited it from a parent, and the rest most likely get it from a grandparent. The disorder tends to get worse and more dire with age, and so diagnosis and treatment at a young age is critical for disease management. Marfan syndrome can affect a number of different parts of the body, including the skeleton, eyes, and heart and blood vessels, and when and if it strikes the heart or vascular system, it can be fatal.


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The National Health Service explains that when someone with Marfan Syndrome develops cardiovascular symptoms, things get serious.

“As the walls of the main artery, the aorta, are weak in Marfan syndrome sufferers they can suffer cardiovascular issues particularly if the aorta split and result in potentially fatal internal bleeding.”

Jonathan Jeanne is really hoping to take some time to get his new diagnosis under control and resubmit to the NBA draft some time soon.

Are you surprised that Jonathan Jeanne was not diagnosed before the combine for the NBA draft?

[Featured Image by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Images]