From Tragedy To Triumph
Austin Hatch plays basketball for the University of Michigan’s famed program. As he starts his first season for the Wolverines, it is clear that he was not any normal recruit. His being on the basketball team is nothing short of a triumph.
Hatch’s life has been plagued by grief. In 2003, Hatch and his father survived a plane crash that took the life of his mother and two siblings. For the next years, Austin faced that adversity while excelling on the basketball court, making him a potential recruit for some really good basketball programs, like the University of Michigan which happened to be his dad’s alma mater. Tragically, however, after he verbally committed to the Wolverines in 2011, history repeated itself. Austin Hatch was in another plane crash that killed his father, who was flying the small plane, and his stepmother and critically injured Hatch himself. Doctors weren’t sure if he would ever recover to the athlete he used to be.
Fast forward to 2014, Hatch’s freshman year at Michigan. He has made a full recovery by nothing less than hard work and intense dedication. He had to regain his motor skills, walking ability, and mental acuity. It was a long, arduous process, but Hatch persevered. While he may not be the player he used to be, Head Coach John Beilein honored his scholarship so he could attend school and participate in the basketball program. And in Michigan’s exhibition game against Wayne State, Hatch got his first minutes of playing time on the court, where he scored his first point.
If that isn’t an incredible journey, I don’t know what is. Congratulations, Austin!