Austin Hatch, a high school basketball player who survived a plane crash in 2011 that killed his father and stepmother, has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Michigan. As a sophomore, the Indiana native averaged 23 points per game and committed to Michigan shortly before the plane crash. According to USA Today, Hatch also survived a plane crash eight years ago that took the life of his mother, older sister, and younger brother.
The 6’6 forward stepped away from the game after suffering a serious head injury, broken ribs and a punctured lung during the plane crash that happened on June 24, 2011. His family released a statement saying,
“Austin continues to make steady improvement as he prepares for his final year of high school education. The family is grateful for all of the care and support provided by Canterbury School faculty and staff as well as for the community of well-wishers surrounding Austin, especially those close friends and family in Fort Wayne.”
Michigan head coach John Beilein said,
“We are excited to have him back and playing basketball again,” Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement Thursday. “We expect Austin to be an important part of Michigan basketball.”
Stories like this really put things into perspective. As much as I love basketball at the end of the day it is just a game. To Austin Hatch it is the way he copes with the devastating tragedies he has had to face at such a young age. No matter what happens, the world will be watching him attempt to make what could be the greatest comeback story of all time.