Florida Gators Forward Keyontae Johnson Suffers Season-Ending Heart Condition

Published 12/23/2020, 1:38 PM EST
Dec 6, 2020; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Stetson Hatters guard Chase Johnston (11) drives to the basket as Florida Gators forward Keyontae Johnson (11) defends during the first half at Billy Donovan Court at Exactech Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


News about Florida Gators forward Keyontae Johnson collapsing mid-game took everyone by shock. The Gators junior is now in stable condition but has been ruled for the remainder of the college basketball season owing to a heart inflammation that could be related to COVID-19. 

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Johnson collapsed on the floor about a week ago when the Gators played rival Florida State. The small forward came back with his team to the court after a time-out, but put down his head and dangerously collapsed on the hardwood. 

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An unresponsive Johnson was immediately rushed to the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare but was later shifted to UF Health in Gainesville. The experts at the University of Florida Health took an MRI of his heart which revealed further complications. 

The MRI led to a diagnosis of ‘acute myocarditis,’ which is a type of heart inflammation, caused by viral infections, including COVID-19. 

Keyontae Johnson tested positive for coronavirus during the summer along with a few of his teammates. As a result, he had to undergo a complete cardiac evaluation along before starting training camp in Florida. 

A relieving news about Florida Gators player Keyontae Johnson

Johnson was in critical condition following his collapse, but things improved gradually. The forward shared a video message to his well-wishers after attaining consciousness and thanked doctors as well. 

“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 that have been going out. To all doctors and medical staff at Tallahassee Memorial and UF Shands, I just want to say thank you for all the support y’all gave me,” Johnson said in the video

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Furthermore, Johnson will leave the hospital for Christmas and would be spending time with his family. His parents also informed that the player has started breathing on his own and has come out of the coma. 

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Johnson’s condition hasn’t been linked with COVID-19 although there is a possibility. The cause is yet to be confirmed but this is indeed a serious situation that has attracted the attention of everyone in the country.  

Keyontae Johnson won the SEC Pre-Season Player of the Year award in November for his contributions to the Gators. The 21-year-old will miss basketball action this season, but will undoubtedly return stronger in his senior year for the Gators. 

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Arjun Athreya

2143 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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