UF’s Keyontae Johnson alert, talked with teammates

From Myron Medcalf of ESPN:

Keyontae Johnson
 is talking to his family and doctors, and he even FaceTimed his team on Tuesday in a sign of remarkable progress for the Florida star, according to a statement from his parents on Tuesday.

A day after the program said Johnson was “following simple commands” but remained in critical but stable condition, he appeared to take another step in his recovery.

“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,” Nika and Marrecus Johnson said in a statement that was released through the school.

“We will continue to share updates about Keyontae’s health and progress. We have seen how much people love and care for him. We hope people recognize that information that doesn’t come from us or the athletic department may not be accurate. We are working closely with Keyontae’s doctors and the UAA to provide information to everyone who cares so deeply about Keyontae and has been praying for him.”

During a matchup against rival Florida State on Saturday, Johnson was walking onto the court after a timeout when he collapsed and fell face-first onto the floor. The TV cameras did not show the incident on the initial broadcast; however, Florida and Florida State players were clearly distraught and emotional following the incident.

After the game, which continued, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said he agreed to play the game if Florida coach Mike White, who did not speak to reporters after the matchup, thought it would be in the “best interest” of his team.

Johnson received medical attention on the court before he was taken to a local hospital in Tallahassee, Tallahassee Memorial, and subsequently transported to UF Hospital in Gainesville two days later, according to the school. He had been listed in critical but stable condition prior to Tuesday’s development.

Johnson, a first-round prospect in ESPN.com’s latest NBA mock draft, had finished an alley-oop, ran down the court and celebrated with his teammates on the sideline prior to the incident. That day, his parents traveled from Virginia, where he’s from, to be with him in Florida.

According to the Associated Press, Johnson and some of his teammates had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the season. The virus can cause myocarditis, a heart condition, but the school and family have not revealed a diagnosis at this point.

School officials announced Tuesday that their Wednesday matchup against North Florida had been postponed.

Johnson is averaging 19.7 points per game this season.

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