Florida star forward Keyontae Johnson is in critical but stable condition Saturday after collapsing on the court against Florida State and being rushed to the hospital, the school said.
Johnson, the SEC preseason player of the year, was taken to Tallahassee Memorial for evaluation after he collapsed coming out of a timeout early in the game. The junior, who had just dunked before the timeout, was given emergency medical attention then taken off on a stretcher, with his teammates in tears.
Florida coach Mike White, who did not address the media after the game, was set to stay in Tallahassee with Johnson while the rest of his team returned to Gainesville.
Florida State went on to beat Florida, 83-71, but the incident took a toll on players from both sides. Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said he told Florida State administrators he would leave it up to Florida whether the game should continue after Johnson’s emergency.
“I told our staff I was going to let them make that decision,” Hamilton told reporters. “It was totally up to them and whatever they thought was in the best interest of their team. I told them I would accept it.”
Johnson was among the Gators who tested positive for COVID-19 over the summer, but it was not immediately known what caused his collapse. Multiple college athletes who contracted COVID-19 were later diagnosed with myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest in severe cases.
The SEC mandates strict protocols, including rigorous heart testing, before players can be cleared to return to play following positive COVID tests.
— With AP