FSU coach details emotions from scary incident with Florida's Keyontae Johnson collapsing
Florida State men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton said the scene Saturday following the collapse of Florida player Keyontae Johnson on the court was jarring and emotional in the huddle.
"Several players on my team have had experiences (similar to Johnson's collapse) and were very emotional as a result," Hamilton told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I was moved by the outpouring of emotions from them. Several guys were crying uncontrollably in the huddle after it happened. I told the guys, 'There's only one thing we can do right now is pray.'
"One of my players was so emotional that after the timeout he was still crying. I did not realize it was still on his mind but then a (referee) came and told me. Then I realized what was going on was really, really deep."
UPDATE ON CONDITION:Keyontae Johnson is in a medically-induced coma, grandfather says
According to Johnson's grandfather, Larry DeJarnett, Johnson has been in a medically-induced coma and was medevaced Monday to Gainsville, Florida, from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
"They’re just not sure," DeJarnett said. "He may have had activity in the brain, so they induced the coma. They put him on medication to keep him sedated.’’
Johnson, the SEC preseason player of the year, was in critical but stable condition, according to a statement from Florida on Saturday night. There has not been an update from the school on Johnson's status since.
Johnson had finished an alley-oop and was coming out of a timeout prior to the incident at Florida State.
Florida coach Mike White stayed at the hospital with Johnson's parents Saturday and Sunday night while his Gators teammates traveled back to Gainesville.
Florida State players put together cards and flowers to deliver to Johnson at the hospital and organized team meetings to pray for Johnson, Hamilton said.
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 White said the team also had previous issues, but details were not released because of privacy laws.
The coronavirus can lead to myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart muscle. At its most severe, myocarditis can contribute to cardiac arrest.
The 72-year-old Hamilton said an injury of this nature puts things into perspective.
"We are all competitors," Hamilton said. "We sometimes forget how fragile life is. ...This is bigger than basketball. ...It just shows how appreciative we should be for what we have instead of all the bickering and stuff going on in society. We are all human beings and should be leading with love and compassion for everybody."
Hamilton previously described to reporters the decision to resume the game after Johnson's fall, noting both programs made the decision to play for Johnson. FSU defeated Florida 83-71.
“I told our staff I was going to let them make that decision," he said. "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. 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.”
Contributing: The Associated Press