Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the floor during the first half of the Gators’ game against rival Florida State on Saturday afternoon. Johnson was carried off the floor on a stretcher and was taken to a local hospital. Johnson was taken to Tallahassee Memorial reportedly in critical but stable condition before being transported to a hospital in Gainesville on Monday, where he was put in a medically induced coma, according to his grandfather.
On Tuesday, Johnson’s condition was updated to stable. He’s reportedly breathing on his own and speaking with doctors. Florida basketball provided this statement:
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 15, 2020
Johnson collapsed coming out of the timeout after finishing an alley-oop dunk. TV cameras cut away as Johnson fell to the floor. The game paused as Johnson was carried off the floor. Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton reportedly asked Florida coach Mike White if he wanted to continue the game, and White chose to keep playing. FSU won, 83-71.
Johnson, a 6’5 junior wing, was the SEC preseason player of the year and entered the game averaging 19.7 points per game through Florida’s first three contests. Here’s video of the alley-oop dunk he threw down before collapsing:
This dunk by Keyontae Johnson was not 5 minutes before he collapsed pic.twitter.com/LEP0pgcNif
— Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) December 12, 2020
Florida had paused basketball activities due to Covid on Nov. 22, but the program didn’t announce the extent of the positive tests. The AP is reporting that Johnson tested positive for Covid over the summer.
Our thoughts are with Johnson. We’ll update this story as it develops.
“Keyontae is in stable condition today, breathing on his own, and speaking with us and with his doctors here at UF Health. He even FaceTimed the team!” Johnson’s parents, Nika and Marrecus Johnson shared in a statement Tuesday. “We feel so much love and support from everyone, and we’re beyond grateful for the care and attention that Keyontae has received throughout these past several days.”
Johnson, the Southeastern Conference’s preseason player of the year, collapsed during Saturday’s game against the Florida State Seminoles. The 21-year-old junior received medical attention court-side before being placed in an ambulance and taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
Shortly after his collapse, the Gators announced Johnson was in stable but critical condition. His parents were flown in from Norfolk, Virginia, and his mother accompanied him to the UF Health facility via helicopter.
Head coach Mike White on Tuesday thanked fans for their support. “Thank you so much to everyone for all your prayers. Keep them coming,” White tweeted.
Johnson’s doctors and family haven’t released the reason behind his collapse. He was one of several Gator players that tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer. A known effect of COVID-19 is myocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle. However, conference rules also dictate that all players must go throughand physicals before players can return to the court.
Johnson’s collapse Saturday left many of his fellow teammates distraught. Florida’s Wednesday game against North Florida was called off and has not yet been scheduled for a later date.