Michigan’s Hatch echoes Valvano’s ‘Don’t give up’ speech

When Jimmy Valvano was fighting cancer, the former North Carolina State coach gave an inspiring speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards that encouraged people to live every day to its fullest, to "laugh, think and cry."

And, above all, "Don’t give up . . . Don’t ever give up," which became the motto to his cancer-research foundation.  

Valvano died later that year, but Austin Hatch apparently was inspired by those words.

The Michigan freshman is a survivor of two plane crashes, but those catastrophes claimed the lives of his entire family.

Hatch’s story became well-documented in the sports world, particularly after the second one in 2011, which left him in a coma with broken bones, a punctured lung and a brain injury, and also killed his father and stepmother.

In August, Hatch took the floor as a Wolverine for the first time during an exhibition game. And on Monday, he finally got his first collegiate point, hitting a free throw in an exhibition against Wayne State.

And when the ball went through, Hatch, his coach, his teammates and the Michigan faithful gave us a moment usually reserved for March.

On Wednesday, Hatch tweeted out a message echoing Valvano’s speech and also saying, "You can overcome almost anything u put your mind to; trust me."