WATCH: Florida star Keyontae Johnson sounds great in video message thanking everyone for support

By Adam Silverstein
December 18, 2020
WATCH: Florida star Keyontae Johnson sounds great in video message thanking everyone for support

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath / UAA

As Florida Gators basketball continues to focus on the recovery of junior forward Keyontae Johnson after he collapsed during last Saturday’s game against Florida State, Johnson himself on Friday decided to share a video thanking fans, Florida State staff and hospital workers for their help in his recovery. Johnston filmed the video sitting up, presumably in a hospital room at UF Health.

Johnson, who remains in stable condition, is now showing “truly encouraging signs of progress as he undergoes tests and further evaluation at UF health,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement Thursday.

Johnson has been breathing on his own, speaking, having good conversations, sitting upright and laughing, according to multiple updates provided this week. This after he suddenly collapsed Saturday during the Gators’ college basketball game.

“This has been an emotionally taxing time for Keyontae’s family, friends and teammates,” Stricklin said. “Our hope is that everyone impacted will take an opportunity to process those emotions and regroup ahead of the start of the new year.”

Nika and Marrecus Johnson, Keyontae’s parents, shared their appreciation for the outpouring of love and support for their son on Tuesday after he was awoken from medically induced coma the day prior. He spent two days in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he was in critical but stable condition before being transferred to Gainesville, Florida.

No specifics have been provided as to what caused Johnson’s medical incident, though his parents promised to “continue to share updates about Keyontae’s health and progress,” saying they appreciate “how much people love and care for him.”

Johnson, the SEC Preseason Player of the Year, completed an alley-oop dunk ahead of a media timeout during the Florida State game. According to the Gators radio broadcast, he was walking to the top of the arc after breaking the huddle when he fell face-first and laid unconscious on the court.

Footage played by ESPN showed Johnson’s eyes open on the court but closed on the stretcher. He had a bloody scrape on the right side of his chin, presumably from falling on the hardwood.

Florida announced Thursday that it postponed its next three three games: Dec. 19 vs. FAU, Dec. 20 vs. Florida A&M and Dec. 22 vs. James Madison. The Gators previously postponed their game against North Florida set for Tuesday and will continue their season on Dec. 30 at Vanderbilt, opening Southeastern Conference play on the road.

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