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College hoops star thanks fans for support after shocking collapse

/ 02:08 PM December 19, 2020
Keyontae Johnson

FILE – Keyontae Johnson #11 of the Florida Gators shoots against the Alphonso Anderson #10 and Justin Bean #34 of the Utah State Aggies during the second half of the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic at BB&T Center on December 21, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Six days after a frightening on-court collapse put him in hospital, University of Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson thanked fans for their prayers in a video posted on Twitter Friday.

Johnson, a third-year player who was named the top pre-season player in the Southeastern Conference, was hospitalized in Tallahassee immediately after he crashed to the court minutes into the Gators’ game against Florida State University on December 12.

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He was then airlifted to University of Florida Health hospital, where on Tuesday his condition was upgraded from “critical but stable” to “stable” as he was able to follow commands and communicate with doctors and family members.

“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 his video.

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“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,” the 21-year-old concluded, with an energetic clap of his hands.

Johnson had shown no sign of illness as last weekend’s game in Tallahassee began, throwing down an alley-oup dunk and celebrating with team-mates just moments before he crashed to the court as the team came out of a time-out huddle.

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His grandfather told USA Today that he was temporarily placed in a medically induced coma.

But no further details of his treatment, or whether his collapse could be related to an earlier outbreak of Covid-19 on the team, have been given.

As Johnson remained hospitalized for tests and evaluation, the Gators this week postponed three games. They are next scheduled to play on December 30, in their conference opener at Vanderbilt University.

For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.

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TAGS: Basketball, collapse, coma, Game, Keyontae Johnson, NCAA, recovery, Sports, University of Florida
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