Former Baylor University standout Isaiah Austin was projected to make an impact in the NBA, but health issues prevented him from making the big jump. But this time, Austin is ready to dream again, as he is set to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas, the national team of the basketball crazy-nation Philippines.

Austin was tapped to reinforce Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in China. The 7-foot-1 center arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The 23-year-old California native expressed excitement over the opportunity to play for the Philippines. He said he is aware of the Filipino’s passion for basketball, which made him decide to accept the offer.

Austin is looking forward to playing for “best fans in the world” in upcoming international tournaments. “I read an article a while back that FIBA voted them the greatest fans in the world. Who wouldn't want to play for the greatest fans in the world?” he told reports, ABS-CBN News reported.

Isaiah Austin thought his career was over

Some fans uttered questions about Austin’s ability to play competitive basketball. He was supposed to enter the NBA in 2014, but his career took a hit after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, Yahoo Sports reported.

Austin admitted that he thought he would never play competitive basketball again. But late last year, he was cleared to play again. ESPN reported in January that the former Baylor star agreed to join Serbian club FMP Belgrade. He also suited up for Chinese club Guangxi Rhinos.

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Austin’s medical history not a concern for Gilas Pilipinas

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes does not doubt in his mind that Austin will make an impact on the team. He played down negative speculations about their prized recruit’s health, pointing out that Austin was already given the green light to play by a Marfan syndrome expert.

Reyes told ABS-CBN News that he had an extensive interview with Austin before they agreed to deal. The veteran coach is confident that Austin’s heart issue is now a thing of the past.

Austin is also being eyed for naturalization in the Philippines. Once naturalized, Austin will be allowed to play for Gilas Pilipinas in future tournaments like the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019.

Former NBA forward Andray Blatche was also naturalized in 2014 and played for the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup that year. Blatche also represented the Philippines in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, where they finished second to host China.