Three years after surviving a plane crash as a 16-year-old and vowing to one day return to the basketball court, Austin Hatch did just that on Wednesday night, making a three-pointer on his first shot in the fourth quarter that caused his Loyola High coach and teammates to charge onto the court and pick up a technical foul.
"It was the best technical foul I've ever been a part of," Loyola Coach Jamal Adams said.
Loyola won the Mission League opener over host Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 87-59, but the game will be forever remembered for the emotional moment that took place with Hatch. Adams and his players and fans had tears after witnessing what they had seen.
"He hit a three and our bench erupted," Adams said. "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."
Hatch moved from Indiana to Pasadena for his senior year. He has signed with Michigan. It was his first game appearance since a 2011 plane crash that killed his father and stepmother and left him with a severe head injury.
Adams has told people he has been a participant in a "miracle."
In a tweet, Hatch said, "As I said after the game, my three was pretty cool, but, more importantly, we're now 14-0."