Florida Gators star Keyontae Johnson was in critical but stable condition at a Tallahassee hospital after collapsing on the court during Saturday’s game against Florida State, according to the school.
The Southeastern Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, Johnson finished an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Tyree Appleby to give the Gators an 11-3 lead just 3 minutes 42 seconds into the game, prompting a timeout by Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton.
Coming out of the timeout, the 6-foot-5 junior from Norfolk collapsed face-first near the centre court logo, according to Florida announcer Mick Hubert.
Immediately medical staff rushed to treat Johnson, who was stretchered off the court and taken to Tallahassee Memorial, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, his teammates huddled together on the court, many of them in tears, hugging each other before the teams resumed playing.
Florida State (3-0) ultimately handed Florida Gators (3-1) its first loss of the season, 83-71.
Florida spokesman Denver Parler informed Johnson was in critical but stable condition. “We will provide more updates when we are able,” he tweeted.
Gators coach Mike White’s postgame Zoom call media address was cancelled and the school said White would remain with Johnson while the rest of the team returns to Gainesville.
"Please keep praying for @Keyontae and his family. We all love him," White tweeted Saturday.
Forward Johnson, who scored five points against the Seminoles, entered the game averaging 19.7 points and 6.0 rebounds this season. The All-SEC honoree averaged 14.0 points and 7.1 rebounds in 31 games in 2019-20.
Earlier in the offseason, Johnson and several teammates tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.
Studies have linked the virus to myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrest in the most severe cases, Reuters reported.