Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, February 16, 2015

(USBWA) Michigan freshman Austin Hatch, who survived two plane crashes, lost family in both of them and was in a coma for two months with a traumatic brain injury following one crash, has been selected to receive the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award for 2015.

The plane crashes occurred in the span of eight years, the first of which claimed the lives of his mother, older sister and younger brother; the second of which took his father and stepmother.

Neither of those tragedies, however, is what makes Hatch courageous. It's because of how he's lived his life since, fighting to overcome both his own physical hardships and emotional challenges, and also embracing his new opportunities.

Rather than be angry at what he's lost, Hatch instead prefers to celebrate what he's been given - a chance to honor his parents by becoming the man they dreamed he would be. Fiercely determined and impossibly positive, Hatch believes he is only beginning to write the story of his life and that the tragedies, while a part of his tale, will one day merely be a footnote.

Hatch will receive the most courageous award at the USBWA's annual awards function at this year's NCAA Final Four, on Monday, April 6, at a luncheon starting at 12:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis.

Read full USBWA release.