Michigan Basketball Honors Plane Crash Survivor Austin Hatch on Senior Day

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2014, file photo, Michigan head coach John Beilein, left, congratulates guard Austin Hatch (30) as he comes off the court in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Coppin State at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has announced that Austin Hatch will go on a medical scholarship and remain with the Wolverines as an undergraduate student assistant. Hatch survived two airplane crashes eight years apart, including a 2011 crash that severely injured him and killed his father and stepmother. Hatch's mother, brother and sister were killed in the first crash. He played in five games as a freshman last season. Beilein said the school received approval from the Big Ten on Monday, April 27, 2015, for a medical exemption waiver. (AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)
Tony Ding/Associated Press

The Michigan Wolverines honored Austin Hatch, who survived a plane crash in 2011 that left him in a monthslong coma, before Sunday's basketball game against Ohio State.

Daniel Murphy of ESPN.com reported the news, noting Hatch was one of the seniors honored on senior day, which marked the Wolverines' final home game of the season.

CBS Sports CBB shared video of the ceremony:

CBS Sports CBB @CBSSportsCBB

A very special Senior Day for @umichbball’s Austin Hatch. https://t.co/bQlJvY79QP

According to Murphy, Hatch's father and stepmother died in the crash. His mother and siblings had died in a separate plane crash eight years prior. Hatch survived the first crash "when his father threw him from the wreckage," per Murphy.

The team's Twitter account shared video of Hatch warming up:

Michigan Men's Basketball @umichbball

Our man @AustinHatch30 taking in warmups on Senior Day!! #GoBlue #Family https://t.co/pF7S18i1NU

He was embraced by head coach John Beilein and his teammates near midcourt when he was honored.

Murphy noted Hatch—who scored one point in five games during his freshman season in 2014-15—took a medical hardship scholarship following that campaign and has since been a student assistant.

Hatch reflected Friday on what Michigan and Beilein have meant to him. He committed to the Wolverines days before the 2011 crash, per Nick Baumgardner of the Detroit Free Press.

"I don't think it's an accident I ended up at a place like Michigan," Hatch said, per Baumgardner. "I don't think there was any better place I could've been in the country given the circumstances. I don't think there's a better man that I could have played for. He's taught me more about life, and that's the ultimate measure of a coach."

While Hatch wasn't eligible to play in Sunday's contest, the Wolverines—a No. 10 seed in Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller's most recent bracket projection—were looking to bolster their NCAA tournament resume with a win against their archrival.


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