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Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Austin Hatch not likely to play

By Michael Rothstein
WolverineNation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Austin Hatch is unlikely to play basketball this season, as he continues to recuperate from a plane crash that killed his father and stepmother in June, his family said in a statement Tuesday night.

Hatch, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who had accepted a scholarship at Michigan starting in 2013, suffered a serious head injury in the crash along with a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

The crash, on June 24 near Charlevoix, Mich., killed his father, Dr. Stephen Hatch, and his stepmother, Kim Hatch.

Austin Hatch also survived the crash of a plane piloted by Stephen Hatch in 2003 near Fort Wayne, in which the boy's mother, a sister and a brother were killed.

Hatch's family released a statement through Canterbury High School on Tuesday night, saying he likely won't play this season.

"Austin continues to make great strides in his rehabilitation," his family said in the statement. "This first year is vital to the recovery process. As a result, it is unlikely that Austin's physicians will clear him to play basketball this season."

The family continued to ask for privacy and that media not approach Hatch for interviews when he attends Canterbury High's games.

Hatch has also been seen at games this season at Michigan State, where his friend Russell Byrd plays.

Hatch is one of four players committed to Michigan's Class of 2013, joining Derrick Walton Jr. (Detroit/Chandler Park Academy), Mark Donnal (Whitehouse, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) and Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern).

It is unclear whether or not Hatch will attempt to reclassify as a 2014 prospect or still try to play as part of the 2013 class if he is able to return to basketball.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan sports for WolverineNation. He can be reached at michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com or on Twitter @mikerothstein.