For Austin Hatfield, basketball has been in his blood since he was five years old. He was your typical gym rat, constantly playing hoops and like most young players, wanted to play Division One basketball. Hatfield played high school basketball for legendary coach Andy Muse. He scored over 2300 career points in high school and graduated from Mt. Tabor in 2014. 

After receiving only one D2 scholarship his senior year, Austin decided to attend Moravian Prep rather than go the JUCO route. He averaged 20 points per game at Moravian Prep and scored 24 points in a game against Oak Hill Academy. Moravian Prep went to the National Prep Championship in Myrtle Beach only to lose on a walk off buzzer beater. Austin was then offered a Preferred Walk On position at Appalachian State. For players like Austin, playing time was most important. Midway through the year, he transferred to Hampden-Sydney to get immediate playing time. He became the backup point guard and was projected to be the starting point guard the next season. 

Austin was working a summer part-time construction job when he suffered an accident on the job.  A stove fell onto his hand, slicing major nerves. In the next several months, Austin had multiple surgeries. He spent six months in a cast and three months of physical therapy and was told he would never play competitive basketball again. 

For a young player like Austin, playing basketball was part of his life. Facing the news of never playing competitive basketball, he naturally got depressed and got out of basketball shape. He then moved to San Diego with his mother, Kerisa. Determined to get healthy and in basketball shape, Austin started working out again and even participating in half marathons. While playing pick up at San Diego Mesa Community College, he was noticed by the school’s assistant coach. Austin became the team’s starting point guard where he averaged 8.0 PPG and 6’0 APG and led the team to the best record in the past 10 years. 

With two years of eligibility remaining, Austin hopes to continue playing and get a four-year degree. Within the past week, he has received a full scholarship from Bluefield College and a partial offer from Brewton-Parker College. For Austin Hatfield, his journey has been filled with adversity, but one thing remains constant, he is working to keep his dream alive. Basketball has been a major part of his life.