Scott Kreiger, the coach of Canterbury's basketball team, was interviewed at halftime of a recent girl's basketball game (podcast) and provided a brief update on Austin Hatch. Kreiger said that Hatch had been cleared for everything except for five-on-five full-court play. He also said that Hatch is determined to reach two goals—play basketball for Michigan and become a doctor. Here's a recent tweet indicating there's a chance he might yet play this season:
Austin Hatch cleared for 5 on 5 halfcourt. Still hoping he can play before season's end.— Brett R Rump (@IndianaWebSport) January 15, 2013
Great news from UMHoops. Quote from a Hatch family spokesman:
Austin Hatch has been conditionally released by his medical team to begin practicing with the Canterbury High School basketball program. The first official practice is today, however, Austin is limited to the types of drills he can participate in at this time. Although everyone is encouraged by the progress he continues to make, Austin and his family ask that you do not approach him for interviews at this time.
Some further info from Baumgardner:
To piggyback off @UMhoops report, Hatch family spokesman says it's still not determined whether Austin will play HS bball this season.
Hatch family and folks at Canterbury are still taking it day by day, but say Austin is making great progress.
Baumgardner followed up with this article: Michigan recruit Austin Hatch cleared to practice, still unsure if he'll play prep hoops this season
The family spokesman said Hatch would be participating in "about half" of his teams drills Monday, which is the first day Indiana high school basketball teams are able to practice.
It's still unclear if Hatch will play this season for Canterbury.
"We're taking each day as it comes," the spokesman said. "He's making great progress, but we're not looking any further than today."
UPDATE: Below is a WANE-TV video with clips of Austin Hatch practicing with his team yesterday, plus an interview with his high school coach, taken from this page: Hatch, Cavs Return To Practice Floor
He looks good in the video, especially considering all he's been through.
There's also a second video on the page, with a longer interview with the coach (with his team practicing in the background) in which he talks a bit more about Hatch, starting around the 2:48 mark.
I'm sure glad we didn't handle the Austin Hatch case in similar fashion. Feel sorry for the kid.
Ok, I know, I know... It's the Freep, but shouldn't stop you from reading about this inspirational story. This young man continues to impress with his fight, and will to attend and play basketball for Michigan. If ever, this kid is a Michigan Man.
Here's some Michigan-related March Madness from Indiana: Canterbury last week won its first-ever regional championship in the Class A state basketball tournament (in a double OT game, no less), despite playing all season without the player Ben Smith calls, in a Fort Wayne Journal Gazette column titled Canterbury Fights through Adversity, the "best boys basketball player in Canterbury history, truth be told"—referring, of course, to Austin Hatch.
After talking about Canterbury's two come-from-behind victories to capture the regional crown (prompting their coach to dub them the "Cardiac Cavs"), Smith says:
That would be adversity enough, if it was all there was to this story. But of course it isn’t.
The rest you can find over there on the free-throw line, lobbing up a soft shot or two and then stepping away. He’s dressed in khakis and a red shirt, because he won’t be practicing this day or any day soon. He hasn’t practiced or played in a game all season.
But he’s here. He is always here – at practice, on the bench during games, whispering advice, being there for his guys in the only way he can right now.
“He’s been an instrumental part throughout the whole season,” leading scorer Trent Van Horn says of Austin Hatch. “I think we’re all playing for him.”
“He’s a teammate. That’s the way we look at it,” Kline says. “He’s one of those guys. A special kid.”
Smith doesn't mention this in his column, but there have also been a couple of other special moments. When Canterbury captured the district and then the regional championships—both times the team had Austin Hatch cut down the nets. Here's one relevant tweet from the districts:
There was a special moment after the Canterbury/Blackhawk game when Austin Hatch cut down the net, both crowds cheered twitter.com/ryanelijah/sta…— Ryan Elijah (@ryanelijah) March 6, 2012
Canterbury will play in its first-ever "semistate" game (state semifinal) on Saturday at 1:00 pm against Rockville. To move on to the final, the team will have to overcome more adversity as their top player, point guard Chase Moyle, is out with an injury he suffered in the regional championship (see Man-down Canterbury faces difficult task). Best of luck to the Cavaliers!
Original caption from Ben Smith column: Austin Hatch has been a constant presence at practice to be with his Canterbury teammates.
I thought the following tweet from Kyle Bogenschutz of Fox Sports/Scout was encouraging to hear and worth posting:
Talking with [Mark] Donnal he mentioned his good friend Austin Hatch told him he's shooting "about as good as he did before the accident" #awesome— Kyle Bogenschutz (@KyleBogie) February 18, 2012
Also, Sam Webb has tweeted that Hatch will be in attendance at the Ohio game tonight, along with Mark Donnal and Derrick Walton Jr. I believe I read earlier that Zak Irvin will be there as well. (EDIT: That's the entire 2013 class.)