NBC's The Today Show featured an interview with Michigan freshman Austin Hatch, a two-time plane crash survivor, on Friday.
In June 2012, less than two weeks after he verbally committed to play for the Wolverines, a plane carrying Hatch and his stepmother and piloted by his father crashed. Hatch’s father and stepmother were killed. Hatch survived but was badly injured, suffering head trauma, fractured ribs and a punctured lung, and had to be put in a medically induced coma.
The incident happened eight years after Hatch and his father were involved in an initial crash that killed Hatch’s mother and two siblings.
Hatch had vowed to play for Michigan in 2013, but his injuries forced him to reclassify to 2014. He made his debut last Sunday in a game against the Perugia Select All-Stars during Michigan’s preseason trip to Italy.
"As you can imagine it has been a heck of a journey to get here," Hatch said Sunday. "Playing basketball at the University of Michigan has been my goal since I was a little kid. It was unreal to be here and to have actually played a game.
"I really feel like I have that game under my belt now and I really feel like a Michigan basketball player."
- Chris Johnson