Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, November 10, 2014
Austin Hatch deserved this moment. That's putting it mildly, actually.
Hatch, the survivor of two plane crashes, the latest three years ago, scored the first point of his Michigan career late in Monday night's 86-43 exhibition win over Wayne State.
Hatch, who made his debut in August on the team's trip to Italy, entered to a standing ovation with 1:41 left. With 12 seconds remaining, he went to the line for two free throws. The first one, clanked off the rim; the second one, went right through the net.
"It was cool," Hatch said. "I have a lot higher goals in the future, so it's definitely something to build on."
It was a special moment, made even more special because John Beilein took him out after the free throw so he could get a well-deserved curtain call.
But not before every teammate on the floor congratulated and hugged Hatch. He eventually made his way to the bench, where Beilein, the assistant coaches and players were waiting for a hug of their own.
"Not a bad way to start a career," Hatch said.
Talk about putting it mildly.
This moment was a long time coming. The most recent crash left Hatch in a coma, and he had to relearn how to do pretty much everything. It also took his father and stepmother's lives, this eight years after losing his mother and two siblings in the first crash.
"People, after all that I've been through, they don't really have too high of expectations for me," he said. "The only expectations I feel like I have to live up to are the ones I set for myself."
His high school, James Adams, was proud of his former player. Check out the message in this Instagram photo:
"Simply in awe of my boy! If you don't believe you can accomplish anything then read the story of Austin Hatch! Blessed to have him been one of my guys! #Hatcher #cubhoops #belief #faith #love #wolverines"