Gators Star Keyontae Johnson Now Speaking

University of Florida Gators basketball star Keyontae Johnson is speaking after being put into a medically induced coma. According to NBC News, Johnson’s parents Nika and Marrecus Johnson have confirmed the 21-year-old is now speaking to family and was even able to FaceTime with teammates. 

They said in a joint statement, “Keyontae is in stable condition today, breathing on his own and speaking with us and with his doctors here at UF Health. He even FaceTimed the team! We feel so much love and support from everyone, and we’re beyond grateful for the care and attention that Keyontae has received throughout these past several days.” 

RELATED: Florida Gators Basketball Star Hospitalized After Collapsing During Game

Johnson collapsed during a game on Saturday (Dec. 12), just after he completed an alley-oop on a pass from teammate Tyree Appleby, ESPN reports. Johnson celebrated with the team, and walked to the sideline. As soon as the huddle broke, the junior forward collapsed on the court.

Johnson and most of his teammates tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer, according to The Associated Press. While the cause of the collapse is unknown, a study released in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reveals that the coronavirus can lead to myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart muscle.

On Dec. 14, Johnson was transferred to a hospital in Gainesville, Florida after initially receiving treatment in Tallahassee. The school reported that he was “following simple commands and undergoing further tests.”  

Johnson has averaged 19.7 points per game this season, and is a leading candidate for SEC Player of the Year and is also considered to be an NBA prospect, according to ESPN.

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