Michigan freshman Austin Hatch has been selected to receive the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Most Courageous Award for 2015. The association announced the news Monday, but Hatch will receive the honor during a luncheon in Indianapolis on the Monday of Final Four weekend.
Hatch’s story has been one of the most-noted stories in college basketball this season. If you need a refresher: Hatch survived two plane crashes, but lost family in both, and was in a coma for two months with a traumatic brain injury after a crash in 2011.
“Rather than be angry at what he’s lost, Hatch instead prefers to celebrate what he’s been given — a chance to honor his parents by becoming the man they dreamed he would be,” the USBWA release reads. “Fiercely determined and impossibly positive, Hatch believes he is only beginning to write the story of his life and that the tragedies, while a part of his tale, will one day merely be a footnote.”
In January 2014, Hatch played his first basketball since the crash. In the fall, he enrolled at Michigan and John Beilein honored his scholarship and invited him to join the basketball team. Fans in Ann Arbor and around the college basketball world have already united to celebrate Hatch’s first minutes on the floor, in August, and his first career points, which came in November.
.@AustinHatch30 sinks a free throw in the final moments, and shares a hug with Coach @JohnBeilein! pic.twitter.com/s86MXqXzBx
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) November 11, 2014