The entire college basketball world watched in stunned silence when Florida forward Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court against Florida State this past Saturday. Memories of Hank Gathers’ tragic death swirled as Johnson was immediately transported to a local hospital.
Things took a dark turn when Johnson was placed in a medically induced coma, but the latest update from the family is an encouraging one.
Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court last weekend
The Florida-Florida State rivalry game last Saturday started like any normal contest. The Gators got off to a hot start and took an 11-3 lead into the first timeout of the game, but what happened next was anything but normal.
As Florida broke its huddle and started moseying back onto the floor, Keyontae Johnson stumbled forward and collapsed to the ground near half-court. His teammates were in shock as they signaled for the medical team to rush onto the floor. Eventually, doctors stretchered Johnson off the court and transported him to a nearby hospital to be examined.
Despite the scary incident, the game continued like normal. Florida State ended up winning in the end, but that was far from Florida’s biggest worry.
Johnson was later placed in a medically induced coma
Two days after collapsing on the court, Johnson was placed in a medically induced coma by doctors at a Gainesville, Fla. hospital. Johnson’s grandfather, Larry DeJarnett, provided an update to USA Today Sports on Monday.
“He may have had activity in the brain, so they induced the coma,” DeJarnett said. “They put him on medication to keep him sedated.”
Worst-case scenarios started to engulf college basketball fans after the news. This wasn’t the first time a college athlete had collapsed on the court during a game, and it’s ended in tragedy more than once. Fans anxiously awaited any signs of hope from Johnson, and they finally got one Tuesday.
Keyontae Johnson provides an encouraging update about his health
After a few days of fear and uncertainty, Johnson finally sent out an encouraging message about his health. According to Johnson’s parents, Nika and Marrecus, the SEC’s preseason player of the year is now awake and able to function on his own.
“Keyontae is in stable condition today, breathing on his own and speaking with us and with the doctors here at UF health. He even FaceTimed the team!” Johnson’s parents wrote 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.”
Nika and Marrecus Johnson went on to say they will continue to update the Gator family on their son’s progress, but the latest news will make everyone following this terrifying story breathe a sigh of relief.