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Gators forward Keyontae Johnson critical but stable after collapsing vs. FSU

Graham Hall
UF basketball writer
The Florida Gators huddle with coach Mike White after Keyontae Johnson collapsed during Saturday's game in Tallahassee.

Florida junior forward Keyontae Johnson remains in “critical but stable condition” after collapsing in the first half of Saturday's men's basketball game against Florida State in Tallahassee.

Johnson, the SEC’s preseason player of the year, was moved to a stretcher and carried off the court shortly after collapsing near midcourt. He was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where his condition was determined. The American Hospital Association defines a patient in critical but stable condition as having “vital signs that are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.”

Following Florida’s 83-71 loss, UF coach Mike White opted to be with the team rather than speak to the media via Zoom, due to a lack of updates on Johnson’s condition.

White is staying overnight in Tallahassee in the hospital with Johnson while the team returns to Gainesville. 

"Please keep praying for @Keyontae and his family. We all love him," White wrote on his Twitter account.

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After Johnson’s alley-oop finish put the Gators up 11-3, he collapsed at midcourt as the Gators were coming out of a timeout. Radio play-by-play announcer Mick Hubert said Johnson was standing and suddenly fell forward onto his face. Johnson’s eyes were open and he had blood on his face and neck, according to a photograph obtained by the Gainesville Sun.

Florida players appeared visibly distraught as the game resumed. 

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 junior from Norfolk, Virginia, averaged a team-high 14 points last season to go along with 7.1 rebounds. He also led the Gators with 38 steals.

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FSU coach Leonard Hamilton spoke to the media after the game and described the decision to resume the game. 

“I told our staff I was going to let them make that decision. It was totally up to them and whatever they thought was in the best interest of their team, then I would accept it and act accordingly,” Hamilton said. “Our administration asked me, I just told them I would be OK with whatever they decided, and it’s my understanding that they wanted to play.”

Hamilton said he was told White discussed the decision with his team, and the message was relayed to FSU’s administration. 

“He was in his locker room, and I was in my locker room,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t have a conversation with him. The administration told me that he talked to his team about whether or not they wanted to play, and I told them whatever decision he made was fine with me.” 

Hamilton said Johnson’s collapse was even scarier considering how atypical it was. After seeing how it impacted his team, Hamilton could only imagine how the Gators felt.

“I did not see what happened, but it had a really dramatic effect on my team. Matter of fact, several of my players were crying and I wasn’t really sure, a couple of them were emotional to the point where I wasn’t sure how affected they would be in the game. So it was different,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been involved with several kids that had injuries like that, but not one that was beginning at halftime that was not a collision, or something that was obvious. It was a mystery to us because we didn’t know exactly what was going on. Those types of things can affect you in some adverse ways.

"We’re just all hopeful and praying he’s OK, so I can imagine if it affected our players in an emotional way, I can imagine what the situation was with his teammates.”