NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) - Michigan basketball player Austin Hatch survived two plane crashes within a few years and now shares his message of perseverance to help others overcome adversity. On Monday, he spoke with students in Niagara Falls.
“It’s part of the reason I’m still here, to be honest with you. I think that I was kept around for a third time for a reason, right? And one of those things is to use the tragedies I’ve experienced, use my story, and use the platform I have with Michigan Basketball and everything else to hopefully encourage and inspire, maybe motivate, other people to work harder and be better versions of themselves,” said Hatch.
In 2003, his family was flying in a single engine plane his father was piloting when it crashed. He lost his mother, brother and sister. In 2011, a plane his father was piloting crashed again. His father and stepmother did not survive.
Hatch survived both crashes but says he suffered brain trauma, fractured ribs and a broken collarbone.
“My message is focus on the response to tragedy and the response to adversity,” said Hatch.
“You can do anything. You can persevere through anything. You can get through anything if you have faith and belief. I want our kids in Niagara Falls, who sometimes don’t always feel that way, to understand that they can persevere and get through anything,” said Niagara Falls schools Superintendent Mark Laurrie.
Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices. Download below!