Austin Hatch, a 6-foot-6 senior forward who plays for Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Calif., hasn't played basketball since surviving a 2011 plane crash that left him in a medically induced coma. Last night, he returned to the court for the first time in over three years, and he brought the goddamn house down.
Right after checking into the game in the fourth quarter, Hatch slipped a screen, darted out to the three-point line, and drained a triple right in front of his own bench. That's when everyone lost it. Hatch's teammates and coaches charged onto the court in celebration, earning the team a technical foul. "It was the best technical foul I've ever been a part of," Loyola Coach Jamal Adams told the Los Angeles Times.
Hatch was once a star at Fort Wayne Canterbury High in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he played well enough to be recruited by the University of Michigan. But a week after committing to Michigan, Hatch was involved in a plane crash that killed his father and stepmother and left him in a coma for eight weeks. It was the second plane crash of Hatch's life; he also survived a 2003 crash that killed his mother and two siblings. Both flights were piloted by Hatch's father.
Hatch is set to graduate this year, and Michigan plans to honor the scholarship he was offered three years ago. He plans to be a member of the Michigan basketball team in the 2014-2015 season.