Originally expected to join Michigan's heralded 2013 signing class, forward Austin Hatch was granted an extra year of high school eligibility and has opted to reclassify to a 2014 prospect according to Indiana's WANE-TV.
The 6'6 Hatch was critically injured in a horrible plane crash that killed his father and stepmother last summer, and was forced to sit out the entire 2011-12 season for his Fort Wayne, Ind., team while recovering from a medically-induced coma. Hatch's school immediately petitioned the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) with a handwritten letter for another year of eligibility considering the extreme circumstances, and will now give the future Wolverine two more years to develop at the high school level.
Hatch averaged 23.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and looked to be well on his way towards developing into an elite national scorer before the unfortunate accident. Although it might be a shame that Michigan fans won't get to see Hatch play next fall, the added year of prep basketball should definitely ease his transition to Big Ten basketball.