Keyontae Johnson: Five things to know about UF basketball star recovering after collapse
Keyontae Johnson, a junior forward on the Florida Gators men's basketball team, is crucial to the team's success.
Johnson was named the SEC preseason player of the year after averaging 14 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season. In four games this season, the Oak Hill Academy and IMG Academy product was scoring 16 points per game with 4.5 rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-5, 229-pound small forward suffered a terrifying medical emergency when he collapsed on the floor during a game Dec. 12 at Florida State. Johnson's family and Gators officials said he is alert and recovering.
Here's five things to know about Keyontae Johnson:
Well-traveled from Virginia to Florida
Keyontae Johnson grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, and played for two seasons at nearby Norview High. For his junior year in 2016, he transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Johnson started to rise up the recruiting ranks after a standout performance at the Peach Jam tournament in South Carolina.
He moved again to the vaunted Oak Hill Academy for his senior season in 2017. There, he reunited with David McCormack, a fellow Norfolk native who played with Johnson at Norview. McCormack now plays for Kansas.
Johnson averaged 17.6 points per game in at Oak Hill.
SEC Tournament raised the freshman's stock
Johnson committed to the Gators in 2018. He played his way into the starting lineup before the game against Georgia on Jan. 19, 2019, after averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 18 minutes per game over the first 16 games.
Johnson burst onto the scene in the 2019 SEC Tournament, when he led the Gators in their first two games. The freshman scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the opener vs. Arkansas, then followed it up with 16 and 10 vs. LSU.
Johnson posted another double-double in Florida's NCAA Tournament-opening win against Nevada.
For the season, Johnson averaged 8.1 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game.
Keyontae Johnson's strong start carried over into his sophomore season, when he led the team with 14 ppg and 38 steals. His 7.1 rebounds per game was second only to senior Kerry Blackshear.
Johnson won the Charleston Classic MVP after averaging 16.3 points and 8 rebounds a game in the holiday tournament. He went on to win All-SEC honors, being named to the first team by coaches and the second team by The Associated Press.
The best run of Johnson's sophomore season was an eight-day stretch in February. Johnson put up 24 points and 10 rebounds Feb. 18 against Arkansas. Even more remarkable: The forward did so on just 7 shot attempts (he went 15 of 17 from the free-throw line).
After a ho-hum 19-9 in a loss at Kentucky, Johnson came back Feb. 26 with a season-high 25 points and 11 rebounds against LSU.
Gators get back-to-back preseason POYs
Before this season, Johnson was named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year. It marked the second straight season the Gators were fielding the top-rated player in the conference.
Kerry Blackshear received that honor the previous season. The two both put up eight double-doubles in the 2019-20 season, becoming the third Florida duo since 1996 to accomplish the feat.
The big dance
Keyontae Johnson's talents extend beyond the court. As anyone on TikTok can see, the forward loves to dance.
“We could be in the middle of a lift session and one of his songs comes on, he’s going to really break it down and dance," former UF teammate Jalen Hudson told USA TODAY. "He’s not shy about it at all. It’s fun to see, especially a muscular guy like that, it’s funny.''
Football moment:Walk-on makes Keyontae Johnson a part of Senior Night