Austin Hatch’s inspirational basketball career has come to a close
Austin Hatch’s basketball career took another turn on Monday, as Michigan announced that he will be taking a medical redshirt and continuing his basketball career as a undergraduate student assistant.
“Basketball has always been a huge part of my life, however, it is what I play, not who I am,” said Hatch in a statement released by the team. “It was a goal of mine to return to the game that I love so much and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play for Michigan. After all that I have been through, it was a dream come true for me to put on a Michigan jersey and get into a game at Crisler Center.”
“As I have progressed through this first season, I know that I am not where I want to be, both academically and athletically. My priority is academics and I feel that it is in my best interest to devote more time to my studies. This decision honors my father, and it is something that I know he would agree with and be proud of me for making.”
By now you likely know Hatch’s story. He’s a two-time survivor of small plane crashes that took the life of his entire immediate family. After spending months in a coma following a crash in 2011, Hatch worked his way back into basketball shape and eventually took the floor for Michigan this season.
“What makes this move equally important is, with NCAA rules, it allows Austin to continue to be a valuable asset to our team as a leader, mentor and assistant,” head coach John Beilein said. “As a student assistant coach, Austin will be allowed to continue to be engaged in our practice and training and to travel with us when it can fit into his academic schedule. The only real change will be that he will no longer be on our active roster or allowed to play in games.”
“Austin remains an important part of our program and culture, even if we do not have that chance to see him compete again.”