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Keyontae Johnson’s family: Collapse wasn’t coronavirus-related

The Florida basketball star’s family released a statement Wednesday to help ‘bring some peace of mind’ about athletics in the pandemic.
Keyontae Johnson's collapse was not related to the coronavirus, his family said Wednesday.
Keyontae Johnson's collapse was not related to the coronavirus, his family said Wednesday. [ MATT STAMEY | Associated Press (2019) ]
Published Feb. 3

The family of Gators basketball star Keyontae Johnson said Wednesday that the coronavirus did not play a role in his collapse during a game at Florida State in December.

“University of Florida Health treating physicians consulted with other local and national experts who reviewed the relevant imaging and testing related to this case,” Johnson’s family said in a statement through UF. “The unanimous conclusion of all experts is that Keyontae’s medical emergency was not related to or a result of a previous or current (COVID-19) diagnosis.”

Johnson reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus at some point before his terrifying incident in Tallahassee, when he fell to the floor during the game. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Speculation centered on whether the coronavirus affected Johnson’s heart. If true, the finding would have been valuable information for other teams as they try to navigate playing a sport during the pandemic.

Related: Keyontae Johnson back with Gators after collapsing at FSU

“We continue to be committed to sharing any information that could be helpful to others,” his family said. “Our hope is that the experts’ conclusion that this instance is not COVID-related will bring some peace of mind.”

Their statement expressed gratitude for the support they’ve received and for the help of his medical team and experts. Johnson, the SEC’s preseason player of the year, has not played since the incident but remains around the team as a volunteer coach.

“Our focus now is on Keyontae’s academics and continued recovery,” his family said. “His resilience has been inspiring to watch. He will spend the rest of the season focused on being the best coach and teammate he can be. What comes next for Keyontae is for him to share on his own timeline.”