LOS ANGELES (21Alive) - After nearly 2½ years of recovery from a second plane crash in his lifetime, former Canterbury High School basketball standout Austin Hatch spoke out about his recovery from the second.
"When you're millimeters from death, you look at that from a different lens," Hatch says at press conference that 21Alive televised live. "I think God had his hand on me; and I think there's a plan for me."
Hatch, who moved to Los Angeles Loyola High School this summer, has not played since the crash. His father, Dr. Stephen Hatch, and stepmother, Kim, were killed in the crash on June 25, 2011, in Charlevoix, Mich.
"I woke up. I no idea where I was. I had no idea what year it was or anything. It was almost like I was just born," Hatch adds.
In September of 2003, the Hatch family had its first plane crash near Ossian. Austin and Dr. Hatch were injured. Austin's mother, Julie, sister, Lindsay, and brother, Ian, died.
Hatch committed to Michigan on June 15, 2011, ten days before the crash. Hatch has now signed his letter of intent to play for the Wolverines.
Austin, wonderful job at today's press conference. Your character, strength, determination and faith shone through.— Canterbury School (@CanterburyFW) November 21, 2013
"The emotional pain is never going to subside," Hatch says. "I had to deal with the loss of my best friend, mentor, teacher, coach and fan. But the same man was also my father. Losing a father never goes away."
Michigan head coach John Beilein maintained the Wolverines would honor the scholarship. The NCAA gave Michigan special permission to communicate with Hatch throughout his recovery process.
Additionally, the Indiana High School Athletic Association gave Hatch an unprecedented fifth year of high school eligibility before he ultimately moved to California.
Hatch, now living with his uncle, shared his love and thanks for Fort Wayne; but says the decision to relocate to Los Angeles will better help his continued recovery.
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