Two years after Austin Hatch survived the second plane crash of his young life, the high school student said he is on the rebound and eager to play college basketball next year at the University of Michigan.
"Basketball has given me something to shoot for. It has been my goal. When I woke up from the coma, I told people, 'I am going to play basketball again,'" Hatch said today at a news conference.
Shortly before the 2011 crash that killed his father and stepmother in Charlevoix, Mich., Hatch had verbally committed to the University of Michigan. This week he signed a letter of intent.
In 2003, Hatch and his father survived a plane crash that killed his mother and two siblings. His father, Dr. Stephen Hatch, was the pilot in both crashes.
"Signing with the University of Michigan has been a goal of mine basically since I woke up from a coma," Hatch said. "Last week, it was kind of surreal to see my name on that dotted line and actually sign that letter."
Before the crash, Hatch was a basketball standout at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game.
After suffering a brain injury, he said his road to becoming the "multidimensional" player he once was has been a challenge, but one he has been working to overcome.