By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Austin Hatch had just committed to play basketball at Michigan when a plane crash killed his father and stepmother in 2011. Another plane crash, in 2003, had killed Hatch’s mother and two siblings.
Hatch survived both crashes, and three years after the most recent accident, in which he sustained a head injury, punctured lung and rib injuries, Hatch is back to basketball.
At the time of the 2011 accident, Michigan decided to honor Hatch’s scholarship, even though he might not be able to play basketball again, much less be the same player as before the crash.
Hatch had vowed to play again, though, and he played his first game Wednesday. When he hit a fourth-quarter three-pointer on his first shot attempt, his Loyola High coach and teammates stormed the court, drawing a technical foul.
“It was the best technical foul I’ve ever been a part of,” coach Jamal Adams told the Los Angeles Times.
“He hit a three and our bench erupted,” Adams continued, according to the Times. “It was unbelievable what that kid has gone through and how hard he’s worked. That kid has taught me you can come back from anything, that nothing is impossible. It was a spiritual moment.”
As far as Hatch himself, his Twitter account reveals an excited but humble perspective on his comeback game. It also gives a glimpse into his overall resilience despite unprecedented tragedy.
Clearly, Michigan is making a good investment whether Hatch ever plays basketball for the Wolverines or not.