Austin Hatch, a survivor of two plane crashes that claimed the lives of five family members, returned to the court for the first time in three years Wednesday night and capped the comeback by sinking his first shot attempt for Loyola High of Los Angeles.
The 6-foot-6 Hatch survived a 2003 plane crash in which his mother, 11-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother were killed. He also survived a plane crash in June 2011 in which his father, who piloted both flights, and stepmother died.
Hatch, 19, who had committed to play for John Beilein and Michigan just prior to the 2011 crash, was placed in a medically induced coma for almost two months.
A former standout at Fort Wayne Canterbury High in Indiana, Hatch moved to Los Angeles in the summer to live with his uncle's family. He enrolled at Loyola High and signed a letter of intent with Michigan in November, as Beilein has decided to honor the scholarship.
Loyola coach Jamal Adams told ESPN.com in October that Hatch was practicing but was not ready physically to play in a game.
Hatch made his return in Loyola's league opener and drilled his first shot in the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Times reported that Adams and teammates charged onto the court following the shot, which resulted in a technical foul.
"It was the best technical foul I've ever been a part of," Adams told the newspaper after the 87-59 victory.
"He hit a 3, and our bench erupted," Adams added. "It was unbelievable what that kid has gone through and how hard he's worked. That kid has taught me you can come back from anything, that nothing is impossible. It was a spiritual moment."