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The story of Michigan freshman Austin Hatch has been told numerous times over the years — and it's still never less miraculous.

Hatch survived two plane crashes in 2003 and 2011 that claimed the lives of his parents, siblings and dog, and he recovered from an induced coma to finish his high school basketball career and achieve his dream of playing basketball at Michigan.

As part of ESPN's "GameDay" presentation at the Crisler Center on Saturday, Hatch's story was retold, ahead of a half-hour feature that will air on the network on Feb. 8.

Coach John Beilein and Hatch sat on the court as the trailer for "Miraculous: The Austin Hatch Story" was shown on the scoreboard to a crowd of Michigan fans present for "GameDay."

As the preview showed on the screen, Beilein wiped away tears, still emotional as Hatch's story was told again for a national audience.

Hatch had a long rehab, fueled by Beilein's insistence to honor the scholarship that was offered before the second crash. Hatch's long road back reached an apex early this season when he got into an exhibition game against Wayne State and made a free throw, achieving his Michigan dream.

"It gave me something to shoot for, from the time I was in the hospital bed before I re-learned how to walk," Hatch told ESPN's Rece Davis and Jay Williams during the segment. "I told people: 'I'm going to play for Michigan. It doesn't look good right now but I'm going to find a way.'"

Hatch said his relationship with his Wolverines teammates — whom he called his brothers — has grown immensely this season. But even more is his admiration and respect for Beilein, both on and off the court.

"It's amazing. Obviously he's a great coach but I would say he's 10 times the man than he is a basketball coach — and he's obviously a great coach," Hatch said.

Beilein again was choked up after the compliment, but indicated that Hatch's story was one of the shining examples of what got him into the profession.

"This is why coaches really coach — this is why guys get into this, because we want to mentor and we want to coach and watch young men grow," Beilein said.

"I'm a part of a miracle right now."

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard

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