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Ex-Florida star Keyontae Johnson transferring with goal to play again after collapse

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Keyontae Johnson, more than a year after he collapsed on the court during a game, is ready to resume his playing career.

The Gators forward is entering the NCAA transfer portal after he graduated from Florida this weekend, according to The Associated Press.

Johnson, during Florida’s game against Florida State in December 2020, suddenly collapsed during a media timeout. He was taken off the court on a stretcher and immediately to a hospital.

He was placed in a medically induced coma, reportedly due to acute myocarditis — which is a rare form of heart inflammation that can interfere with the pumping of blood. That disease has been linked to COVID-19, but his family said the two are not connected. He spoke out months after the issue, and thanked a cardiologist who was sitting courtside for saving his life.

"I would say I'm blessed to be here, yes. There's just not a lot more to say that that," Johnson said. "I was passed out. I could have died. She jumped out on the court and saved me. If it isn't for her, I may not have had a second chance in life. You just can't take life for granted."

Johnson was the preseason SEC Player of the Year that season, and was averaging 19.7 points and six rebounds before he collapsed. He hasn’t played since, other than a brief appearance on senior night.

In March, Johnson was accused of felony sexual assault after an alleged sexual encounter with a female Florida student in February. The woman was allegedly intoxicated when she and Johnson allegedly had sex on Feb. 26 at a pool party. A police investigation into the alleged incident began shortly after it happened and a charging decision has yet to be announced. Johnson's lawyer said in March that he was confident his client would not be charged.

It’s unclear where Johnson will transfer to and his transfer decision will also depend on the outcome of the investigation and any potential charges. He also will need to gain medical clearance to work out for NBA teams or participate in the NBA combine, per The Associated Press if he decides to turn pro. He also has a $5 million insurance policy against his playing career.

Keyontae Johnson of the Florida Gators
Keyontae Johnson, who graduated from Florida this weekend, hasn’t played since he collapsed during a game in 2020. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
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