At the game in Crisler. Austin Hatch just checked into the game. The bench stood up in anticipation every time Austin touched the ball. With less than a minute left Austin got fouled and missed his first free throw. After a deep breath and a second with his eyes closed, Austin put the ball straight through the rim, nothing but net.
It's unbelievable to think that just 3 short years after surviving his 2nd plane crash, after relearning how to breathe, eat, and walk, Austin has scored in a Division 1 basketball game. Amazing credit to Austin as a person and credit to John Beilein for giving him the opportunity. Go Blue
The men's basketball team defeated the Perugia Select Team, 99-60, in the opening game of their Italy exhibition tour. Zak Irvin led the way with 27 points on 10/13 (5/8 2PT, 5/5 3PT) shooting, followed by freshmen Kam Chatman and Ricky Doyle chipping in 12 apiece. Most importantly, Austin Hatch entered the game for the last few minutes, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd:
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) August 17, 2014
The full box score, which was compiled by hand by the Michigan staff—hence no minutes played tally—is below (click to embiggen):
Visual proof of Irvin being Not Just A Shooter™:
Postgame quotes from John Beilein, Hatch, and more courtesy of the athletic department:
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the opening victory on U-M's Italian exhibition tour ... "Offensively, that first quarter was not what I was expecting. With us playing so well offensively that led to us playing so well defensively. You don't know what to expect in games like these. The first quarter was probably a little above what I thought we would do. The last three quarters were a little more predictable for a team on a trip like we are on."
On what he learned that will help going into the next game ... "We will have 48 hours before our next game. This film will be invaluable. There will be plenty of it that will coach the coaches on what we have to teach better. The second part is we will have a chance to sit down with players on the train tomorrow when we go to Verona. It will be just a great teaching tool."
On getting Austin Hatch getting into the last three minutes of the game ... "It was a special moment. Austin even led us in the fight song after the game was over. It's something he has worked very hard for. It was a great moment for our team; however, it was truly special for Austin and his grandfather, Jim, who was here in the stands."
Freshman Austin Hatch
On getting into the game ... "(long pause) As you can imagine it has been a heck of a journey to get here. Playing basketball at the University of Michigan has been my goal since I was a little kid. It was unreal to be here and to have actually played a game. I really feel like I have that game under my belt now and I really feel like a Michigan basketball player."
On almost getting an opportunity to score ... "I am not going to take a shot if it is not the right point in the game. For example if I have an open three and I have a teammate who is open under the basket, you better believe I am going to be passing it to him. Yeah, it would be cool if I made a three. It would be a good story, but I am about my team and my teammates."
On leading the team in 'The Victors' ... "It was unreal. To lead the team in the fight song after the game is a big tradition. I learned that early on in the recruiting process and watched U-M sing it a lot on my visits. I always thought to myself, 'I hope someday I am in position to be able to do that.' Just like everything else that happened today, it was just unreal to be able to do that."
Sophomore Zak Irvin
On his opening 27-point, 11-rebound game ..."I really shot the ball well today; however, I have to give my teammates credit because they were looking for me and getting me the ball. The big thing for me was getting to the hole and I was able to do that. I was able to score inside and outside. It was a great start for us, a great game and hopefully we can keep this going."
On U-M's red hot first quarter ... "We came out shooting the ball really well. That just speaks volumes for our team. We are all looking for each other and playing unselfish basketball."
On how this team progressed ... "We are a growing team. There were a lot of things that went well today, but there is plenty we still have to work on. We can do better communicating and on the defensive end. We came out to Italy and had a great game, but we also just have to enjoy and really take in everything on this trip."
On Austin Hatch getting into the game ..."It was great to see that, especially after everything that Austin has been through. To see him step out onto that floor just meant so much. I have known Austin since the eighth grade so to see him out there playing was just incredible. I hope he is able to do that a lot more during this trip and beyond."
Freshman Ricky Doyle
On playing his first game in a Michigan jersey ... "It was a lot of fun. Finally getting out there with all these guys was a great experience. There is a lot more to come. It's going to be a great year."
On Austin Hatch getting into the game ..."He has been through so much and for him to be out here with us, it is phenomenal. He is part of our family. He is one of our brothers. Seeing him going out there was just as important to all of us as it is to him."
Guess it is Austin Hatch day today. In depth story over at mlive detailing the relationship between coach and player! Awesome-ness.
In a coma, Hatch wasn't cognizant for Beilein's first visit. But Beilein's second trip is one he says Hatch will never forget. "He came to visit me in (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), before I really knew how to walk -- before I re-learned how to walk," Hatch recalled Tuesday inside the William Davidson Player Development Center. "You talk about a man of loyalty, coach Beilein is the most loyal man I know."
Hatch and Beilein's next goal is to eventually get him to the point where he's fully able to participate with the team in practice without any limitations. Hatch will travel to Italy later this week for the Wolverines' 10-day, four-game exhibition trip overseas -- and while Hatch isn't full-go just yet, Beilein didn't rule out the possibility of him appearing in a game at some point.
His development in the weight room continues as well. Before the plane crash in 2011, the 6-foot-6 Hatch weighed about 215 pounds. When he woke up from his coma, he had dropped to 160. Working with Michigan strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson, Hatch is now listed on the team's official roster at his old weight, 215.and
"(He brings) a lot of maturity and integrity. We get all the love in the world from that guy," fellow freshman Aubrey Dawkins said. "He just makes things better. He makes you feel better. He knows how to push you, how to make you better. "He's the perfect teammate."
Austin Hatch's story is truly an incredible one. I was somewhat surprised though to see him at the bottom of this list on MentalFloss.com. They did a piece on people that have been in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once. Some bizarre circumstances here:
Here's a bit more positive news: Austin Hatch did indeed make it to Ann Arbor for an official visit, which occurred over the last couple of days. He posted a couple of tweets earlier today:
Official visit last 2 days; great time & very informative.. If it would've been any better, I'm not sure I would've been able 2 stand itThank you @SpikeAlbrecht for being a great host as well. It's going to be a amazing four years in Ann Arbor! #GoBlue
I'm not sure how embedding works for instagram videos.
They got a technical foul because the entire team rushed the court to celebrate the shot.
"We've hit buzzer beaters and won league championships, but I haven't experienced a better moment on the basketball floor than that," Adams said Thursday. "Everyone was so excited for him. The whole bench was on the floor. The refs had no choice to call a tech for game interruption, but it was worth it. It was unbridled joy. There were parents weeping in the stands, half of our guys were crying. It was an unbelievable moment."Check out the link because there are lots of good quotes towards the end.