On Wednesday, April 4, Spring Arbor University welcomed University of Michigan basketball player Austin Hatch to speak in Chapel. Hatch was interviewed during Chapel by “The Voice of Cougar Basketball,” Bill Barber, on his amazing story of faith through some of his life’s toughest circumstances.
Hatch, a survivor of two fatal plane crashes, received a full-ride basketball scholarship to U of M just nine days before the second plane crash took the life of his father and step-mother, leaving him in a coma for two months. Hatch awoke with multiple broken bones, punctured lungs and a traumatic brain injury, and he vowed not to let his situation define him. After three years of physical therapy, Hatch was able to attend school at U of M for his undergraduate degree . Even though he was physically unable to compete at the same level as before the accident, U of M basketball head coach, Coach Beilein, honored his scholarship, and this spring Hatch will graduate as a member of the Wolverine basketball team.
After describing what had happened to him, Hatch spoke about what helped him get through his tragedy and recovery. “I knew I was going to work too hard for too long, and I was going to overcome it,” he said. “We all have a meaningful word stitched on the back of our jumpsuits this year. Some guys have ‘strength,’ some guys have ‘confidence.’ I have two words: overcome it. I think it’s something I really live by.” Hatch went on to talk about how people don’t really have control over adversity in their lives, but they always have control over how they overcome it.
Further in the chapel interview, Hatch focused on his new mindset, and how his self-developed acronym, “GRIT” (Growth mindset, Resilience, Integrity and a Team first), has been the primary contributor to his success. He went into detail on how these four factors can play into daily life and make a significant impact on whether or not people achieve their goals. “If our actions don’t line up with our dreams and our goals, then we either have to change our actions or change our dreams and our goals,” said Hatch. “We can’t be afraid to give a little extra in anything we do in life.”
At the end of Chapel, Austin reminded everyone in attendance to live out James 1-3, citing the scripture as instructive in how God develops the faith of his followers and leads them to a path that allows them to do his work.
To learn more about Austin Hatch’s story, you can watch the full Chapel interview.