Florida calling off game against UNF on Wednesday night as Keyontae Johnson recovers

Graham Hall
UF basketball writer
Florida forward Keyontae Johnson was “following simple commands” Monday after being transferred from Tallahassee Memorial to UF Health in Gainesville, the school said.

The Florida men’s basketball team’s midweek contest with the University of North Florida has been canceled, UF confirmed Tuesday morning, in order for the program to focus on Keyontae Johnson’s continued recovery. 

A decision on whether or not to move forward with Florida’s contest Saturday against Florida Atlantic is expected by Thursday, if not sooner, the source said, requesting anonymity due to the sensitive and fluid nature of the situation. 

A makeup date with North Florida is to be determined, UF spokesman Denver Parler said.

"Florida basketball and the UAA wish to thank UNF's coaching staff, administration and team for their flexibility and willingness to make this schedule change," Parler said.

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Administration officials have had preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of cancelling the remainder of the non-conference schedule, yet nothing has been finalized. 

Johnson collapsed Saturday against Florida State and was taken to a local Tallahassee hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma as doctors further evaluated Johnson. 

The junior forward had yet to regain consciousness earlier Monday, although UF officials said Johnson was “following simple commands” by Monday afternoon. 

Johnson’s grandfather, Larry DeJarnett, confirmed to USA Today that doctors planned on bringing Florida’s star forward out of a medically induced coma by Monday afternoon. 

"They’re just not sure," DeJarnett told USA TODAY Sports. "He may have had activity in the brain, so they induced the coma. They put him on medication to keep him sedated."

It's unclear if Johnson's condition is connected to COVID-19, or if he had previously tested positive. Florida had to pause team activities last month because of positive COVID-19 tests, and coach Mike White said the team also had previous issues, but details were not released because of privacy laws.

After the Associated Press reported Johnson was previously diagnosed with COVID-19, DeJarnett told USA TODAY Sports he did not know whether Johnson ever suffered from the virus.

"I know that there was some of the times when some of the team was quarantined, yes,” DeJarnett said. “I don’t know if he was one of them or not.”

Later Monday, UF posted the following on its Twitter account:

"We, along with his family, are so thankful for the outpouring of love & support for Keyontae as we continue to lift him up in collective thoughts & prayers. For those that want to send letters or cards send to P.O. Box 14485, Gainesville, Fl., 32604 C/O UF administration.