Florida ahead Keyontae Johnson collapses in opposition to Florida State
The school announced on Sunday morning that Johnson, SEC preseason player of the year, remained in critical but stable condition.
“We appreciate all of the medical staff who have helped Keyontae,” said Sporting Director Scott Stricklin in a statement. “Keyontae received excellent on-site support from FSU staff and at the Tallahassee Memorial, which worked in consultation with UF Health. We are happy that his parents can be by his side and that they all feel the support of Gator Nation. “
Officials sent both teams to the locker room to regroup after Johnson was brought into the locker room on a stretcher. A frightening sight that brought teammates Noah Locke and Scottie Lewis to tears. Florida state coach Leonard Hamilton said some of his players cried before getting on their knees to pray.
“I didn’t see what happened, but it really made a dramatic impact on my team,” he said. “If it affected our players emotionally, I can imagine what the situation was like with his team-mates.”
The game resumed moments later after Florida decided to continue. “I told our staff I would let them make that decision,” said Hamilton. “… It was entirely up to you and whatever you thought was in the best interests of your team.”
Florida canceled its post-game press conference and failed to cite an additional update on Johnson’s condition after losing 83-71.
Johnson’s teammate Tre Mann tweeted, “I know you fight brother, God got you.”
The sight of Johnson’s collapse resonated throughout college basketball. Auburn’s coach Bruce Pearl gathered the players together after training and asked them to join an assistant in prayer. “I believe in the power of prayer,” said Pearl, “I think God needs to hear our voices now.”
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman also gathered his players.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5 junior, averaged a team high of 14 points and 7.1 rebounds last season. He also led the Gators with 38 steals. He scored five points in four minutes on Saturday. Wizards Guard Bradley Beal, who played in Florida, offered his support on Twitter.
Gator’s soccer coach Dan Mullen said after Florida’s 37:34 loss to LSU that the team’s thoughts were with Johnson and the basketball players. “It shows you that there is much more to it than just games out there.”