Committing to John Beilein and the Michigan basketball program the same day the Wolverines offered Hatch a scholarship in the summer of 2011, the nearly four years since have been anything but normal.
Tragedy struck Hatch and his family just one week after his verbal commitment to the Wolverines when a plane, piloted by his father, crashed into a garage, killing Hatch’s father and stepmother, leaving Hatch severely injured with bruising on his brain and several broken bones.
Hatch spent nearly two months in a coma following the accident, the second plane crash he had survived in his young life, the first came in 2003 when another plane, piloted by his father, crash landed.
Since that summer of 2011, Hatch’s near four-year journey to some semblance of normalcy is beginning to look better and better.
Transferring to Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola high school from Canterbury (Ind.) high school, Hatch returned to the basketball court in November, knocking down the first three-point shot he had attempted in a game since before the crash.
This weekend, Hatch flew to Ann Arbor, a place he made a point to visit for several games at Crisler Center during his rehabilitation, but this time it was for the official visit he never had the opportunity to take.
Following his time on campus, Hatch took to twitter to send out a couple messages from the experience:
Official visit last 2 days; great time & very informative.. If it would've been any better, I'm not sure I would've been able 2 stand it ??— Austin Hatch (@ahatch33) April 25, 2014
Now just two months away from enrolling as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan, Hatch will spend the next four to five years in the Wolverines’ basketball program in some capacity, still unclear whether or not Hatch will be fully cleared to practice and play with the team.