Michigan commitment Austin Hatch cleared for practice

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Some incredibly uplifting news out of the Michigan camp today.

Michigan recruit Austin Hatch has been cleared for to do some drills at practice at his high school. This is amazing news considering Hatch was involved in his second (SECOND!) plane crash. This one put him in intensive care and cost the lives of his father and stepmother.

The fact that Hatch even survived, when you read the details of the crash, is amazing. One would totally understand if he took a few years, or took off for good, from playing basketball. But this guy has been determined to not only get back to playing basketball, but getting back to living life. Bless this kid, because it can’t be anywhere near easy.

The second crash occurred on June 24, 2011 and it left Hatch, a 6-6, 210-pound small forward out of Fort Wayne, Ind., with a severe brain injury, broke ribs and a punctured lung. Recently, Hatch was granted an additional year of high school to help his recovery.

Hatch is finishing out his prep career at Canterbury High School.

I, for one, am totally rooting for Austin Hatch. He’s already been through more in the past few years than some people have been through in a lifetime.

If one thing is certain, John Beilein is getting one of the toughest, if not the toughest, kid in the country in his 2014 recruiting class.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?