Austin Hatch has been through a lot. In June 2012, less than two weeks after he verbally committed to play basketball at Michigan, a plane carrying Hatch and his stepmother and piloted by his father crashed. Hatch’s father and his stepmother were killed. Hatch survived, but he was badly injured, suffering head trauma, fractured ribs and a punctured lung, and was put into a medically induced coma.
That crash happened eight years after Hatch and his father were part of another crash that killed Hatch’s mother and two siblings.
Hatch had vowed to play for Michigan in 2013, but he didn’t make his debut until last night, in a game against the Perugia Select All-Stars on Michigan’s preseason trip to Italy. Hatch, a 6-foot-6 guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., went scoreless in three minutes. After the game, Hatch led the Wolverines in “The Victors.”
“It was unreal. To lead the team in the fight song after the game is a big tradition. I learned that early on in the recruiting process and watched UM sing it a lot on my visits,” Hatch said, according to The Detroit News. “I always thought to myself, ‘I hope someday I am in position to be able to do that.’
“Just like everything else that happened today, it was just unreal to be able to do that.”