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Keyontae Johnson's family: Florida basketball player's collapse, hospitalization wasn't COVID-19 related

Jason Owens
·2-min read
Florida forward Keyontae Johnson (11) dribbles up court past Florida State guard Devin Vassell (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)
Keyontae Johnson's basketball future remains unclear. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Florida basketball released a statement from Keyontae Johnson’s family on Wednesday announcing that his on-court collapse and hospitalization in December was not related to COVID-19.

“University of Florida Health treating physicians consulted with other local and national experts who reviewed the relevant imaging and testing related to this case,” the statement read. “The unanimous conclusion of all experts is that Keyontae’s medical emergency was not related to or a result of a previous or current Covid diagnosis.”

Collapse left Johnson in coma, critical condition

Johnson collapsed on the court during a Dec. 12 game against Florida State. The junior forward was then hospitalized, where his grandfather Larry DeJarnett said he was placed in a medically induced coma while in critical condition.

A day after the report of the coma, Johnson was upgraded to stable and breathing on his own. By the end of the week, he was well enough to record a video thanking fans for their support.

Johnson has since rejoined the team in what he described as a “coaching” role. He has not played since.

The cause of Johnson’s condition is still not clear. Florida basketball experienced a COVID-19 outbreak in November that forced the team to pause activities. The outbreak led to speculation that Johnson’s condition was COVD-19 related.

Team of experts analyzed Johnson’s condition

COVID-19 has been linked to cases of myocarditis, a heart condition that causes the organ to become inflamed. Johnson’s family cited a team of medical experts from multiple institutions who determined that his condition was not linked to COVID-19.

“The consultation team included physicians from the Cardiac and Vascular Institute of Gainesville, University of Washington Center for Sports Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Yale University School of Medicine,” the family statement continued.

“We continue to be committed to sharing any information that could be helpful to others. Our hope is that the experts’ conclusion that this instance is not Covid-related will bring some peace of mind.”

Will Johnson ever play again?

Johnson was voted the SEC preseason player of the year and considered an NBA prospect. As a sophomore, he averaged 14 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game en route to All-SEC honors. It remains unclear when or if Johnson will be able to resume playing basketball.

“Our focus now is on Keyontae’s academics and continued recovery,” the family statement read. “His resilience has been inspiring to watch. He will spend the rest of the season focused on being the best coach and teammate he can be. What comes next for Keyontae is for him to share on his own timeline.”

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