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Michigan commit Austin Hatch moves to California for final prep year

Aug 5, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT

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Austin Hatch has had a rough high school career. And almost all of his trials have come off the court.

The 6-6 forward, who has stuck with his commitment to Michigan since his sophomore year (and they to him), survived not one, but two plane crashes, the first killing his mother and two siblings, another taking the lives of his dad, stepmother and a family dog and landing him in critical condition.

As a result of his injuries, he missed almost a full year of high school and was granted an additional prep year to get his academics in order and fully recover from his injuries.

Now, Hatch has decided to finish his prep career in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times is reporting Hatch will enroll at Los Angeles Loyola High School, where he will live with a family member in Pasadena while he finishes high school. Hatch had previously attended the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne, Ind.

He’s still recovering from a severe head injury he suffered in the June 24, 2011 plane crash and it’s unclear whether he’ll be physically able to play. And more importantly, he’ll need approval from the California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section, first. He was granted the extra year of high school eligibility by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, so this will be an entirely different appeal process.

If he is able to play, Hatch will go against stiffer competition in the CIF than he would’ve in the IHSAA. But he also steps into a solid program. Loyola has won three CIF titles in boy’s basketball since 2002 — four in total — the last coming in 2011. It was also named one of the top all-boys prep athletic programs in the nation by ESPN Rise from 2008-2011.

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