Florida's Keyontae Johnson delivers emotional video message after terrifying court collapse

Ryan Young
·2 min read
Florida Gators forward Keyontae Johnson
Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court during their game with Florida State, and has been hospitalized ever since. (Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Nearly a week after a terrifying moment on the court left him hospitalized and in critical condition, Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson delivered a big emotional video message on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Johnson collapsed on the court during the Gators’ matchup with Florida State on Saturday, and has been in the hospital ever since.

“Hey everybody. First and foremost, I’d like to thank God. I know y’all have been sending your prayers out the last few weeks, and me and my parents are very grateful for the prayers going out,” Johnson said in a video. “To all the doctors and medical staff … I do want to say thank you for all the support y’all gave me — especially to the lady that was in the gym at Florida State.

“To my Gator Nation and the UF athletic family, I just want to thank you for all the prayers that you gave onto me. Go Gators.”

Johnson recovering after court collapse

Johnson, 21, collapsed on the court just minutes into Florida’s game with Florida State last Saturday, and was rushed to a local hospital. He was later transported to a hospital in Gainesville, but was listed in critical but stable condition for days. His grandfather told USA Today that he had been temporarily placed in a medically induced coma, too.

Johnson was upgraded to stable condition by Tuesday, and started breathing on his own and responding to simple commands. The team said Thursday that he is showing “truly encouraging signs of progress” — something that was clearly evident in Friday’s video.

The cause of Johnson’s collapse is still not clear, and it’s unknown if it was due to COVID-19. The team had to pause activities and cancel three games in November due to the coronavirus, and coach Mike White said earlier this year that the team had struggled with the virus in the summer.

It’s unclear when Johnson will be released from the hospital, or if he’ll be able to rejoin the Gators and take the court again this season. Florida has postponed games through Christmas.

“We are all competitors,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said after the incident. “We sometimes forget how fragile life is … This is bigger than basketball.

“It just shows how appreciative we should be for what we have instead of all the bickering and stuff going on in society. We are all human beings and should be leading with love and compassion for everybody.”

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