Austin Hatch took the court for the first time as a Michigan player Sunday night during the team’s exhibition opener in Italy. Hatch, a two-time plane crash survivor who has lost his mother, father, brother, sister and stepmother in the crashes, played the final three minutes and went scoreless.
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No matter. It was all about getting on the court. After all, it was just a little more than three years ago that the second fatal crash left Hatch in a medically induced coma and later required physical therapy to regain his walking ability and motor skills.
“As you can imagine it has been a heck of a journey to get here,” Hatch told mgoblue.com. “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.”
“It was a special moment,” John Beilein told mgoblue.com. “Austin even led us in the fight song after the game was over. It’s something he has worked very hard for. It was a great moment for our team; however, it was truly special for Austin and his grandfather, Jim, who was here in the stands.”