For the first time since 2011, Austin Hatch hit a shot in a basketball game.
And while that may not sound all that impressive on the surface, you probably don’t know the entire story.
Hatch has survived two plane crashes that killed five of his family members. In 2003, his mother, 11-year old sister and five-year old brother were killed when his father crashed the small plane he was flying. In 2011, he was put into a medically-induced coma for two months after his father again crashed a plane that he was flying. His father and his stepmother died in that crash.
Hatch had committed to Michigan shortly before the second crash, and John Beilein has already announced that he will honor Hatch’s scholarship.
Back to Wednesday night, Hatch, who has moved from Indiana to his uncle’s house in Los Angeles, played in his first game since the crash. He hit his first shot, a three, which sent the Loyola High School bench sprinting onto the court and drew a technical foul:
“It was the best technical foul I’ve ever been a part of,” Loyola Coach Jamal Adams told the LA Times.
After the game, Hatch sent out the following tweet:
“He hit a three and our bench erupted. It was unbelievable what that kid has gone through and how hard he’s worked. That kid has taught me you can come back from anything, that nothing is impossible. It was a spiritual moment.”
While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.
Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.
Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.
Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.
“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”
Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.
Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.