Keyontae Johnson in stable condition, breathing on his own and speaking with his family, parents say
Florida men’s basketball forward Keyontae Johnson has been upgraded to stable condition, and he is now able to breathe on his own and speak, according to a statement released by UF but attributed to Johnson’s parents, Nika and Marrecus Johnson.
“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,” the statement read. “We will continue to share updates about Keyontae’s health and progress. We have seen how much people love and care for him.”
Earlier Monday, Johnson was moved from Tallahassee to Gainesville by helicopter to University of Florida’s Shands Hospital, where he remained under evaluation.
Johnson, 21, collapsed during the first half of Florida’s contest at Florida State and needed to be removed from the court on a stretcher. He was unresponsive before being taken to Tallahassee Memorial hospital, where Johnson was placed in a medically induced coma, Johnson’s grandfather, Larry DeJarnett, said in a phone call with USA Today.
"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."
However, Johnson’s parents appeared to draw DeJarnett’s claims, and the claims of others, into question with Tuesday’s update.
“We hope people recognize that information that doesn’t come from us or the athletic department may not be accurate,” the statement continued. “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."
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.
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.”
Florida's midweek contest with the University of North Florida has been canceled, UF confirmed Tuesday morning, in order for the program to focus on 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.
UF posted the following Monday night 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."