Florida Gators forward Keyontae Johnson was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed a few minutes into Saturday’s game against the Florida State Seminoles.
The team called a timeout after Johnson completed an alley-oop dunk (see video below) on a pass from Tyree Appleby. Johnson collapsed after the timeout, as he and his teammates dispersed from the sideline.
He received first aid attention before he was taken off the floor on a stretcher and rushed to the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he remained in a critical but stable condition, according to ESPN.
ESPN reported that Coach Mike White skipped postgame interviews to be with Johnson overnight at the hospital, while Johnson’s Florida Gators teammates returned to Gainesville.
Here is the sequence for Keyontae Johnson just before his collapse. Before his great alley-pop dunk, he had a weak, awkward-looking corner 3 attempt. Early sign of symptoms? After his dunk, his celebration with teammates seemed somewhat subdued after a great play and great start. pic.twitter.com/DNW3me5oDg
— Jonathan Arnholz (@JArnholz) December 12, 2020
Johnson’s parents were also expected to fly from Virginia to be with their son at the hospital.
Coach White later took to Twitter to post a message calling on fans to pray for Johnson.
Please keep praying for @Keyontae and his family. We all love him.
— Mike White (@MikeWhiteUF) December 12, 2020
Keyontae Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 last summer
Johnson was among several Florida Gator players who recently tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
The cause of Johson’s current health condition was not immediately known and it was not clear whether his previous COVID-19 diagnosis had anything to do with it.
However, it is known that COVID-19 infection can lead to long-term health issues.
The latest development comes after Monsters and Critics reported in March that the New York Knicks owner, James Dolan, tested positive for COVID-19.
The NBA was also forced to suspend the 2019-20 season, after several players, including Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
Johnson’s teammates were visibly upset
While Johnson received attention before being taken to the hospital, his teammates huddled together, looking anxious and upset.
White tried to keep the team in good spirits by gathering them together to say a prayer.
The game resumed shortly afterward, and according to Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, the administrators twice granted the Gators the option of stopping the game, but they chose to continue.
Florida Seminoles turned the tables against the Gators
The Gators performed poorly after the incident.
The Gators were leading by 11-3 before Johnson collapsed, but the Seminoles caught up and went on to win the game by 83-71.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said he understood that the incident adversely affected the effectiveness of Johnson’s teammates.
Keyontae Johnson, of Norfolk Virginia, attended Norview High School (Virginia), IMG Academy (Florida), and Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), before playing college basketball at Florida.
He is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and widely considered a leading contender for SEC player of the Year.
Johnson is averaging 19.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game this season.