If you've followed U of M Basketball over the last few years you've probably heard the story of Austin Hatch. He survived a plane crash as a child that claimed the lives of his mother, brother, and sister. Then shortly after he committed to play basketball for the Wolverines, tragedy struck again as he lost his father and step-mother in a plane crash where he also sustained severe injuries including brain trauma that left him in a medically induced coma for weeks.
Though it was a very long recovery process, Coach John Beilein honored Hatch's scholarship, and made sure that he was a member of the team in every way possible. His injuries didn't allow him to truly play at a competitive level, but Hatch took the opportunity to help the team in any way he could whether as a member of the practice squad, or simply being a motivator for his teammates. Despite all of the adversity, Hatch has thrived at the University of Michigan. He's going to graduate, met his fiance, and took the court in uniform at the Crisler Center on Senior night.
This incredible journey now includes a trip to the Final Four, and maybe a National Championship. Regardless of the outcome, because of his unwavering optimism and incredible spirit, Austin Hatch's story is just beginning.