Keyontae Johnson back with Gators in 'coaching' role after terrifying collapse

Keyontae Johnson has officially rejoined the Florida Gators after his terrifying on-court collapse earlier this year.

Now, though, Johnson is in a slightly different role.

Johnson, who was released from the hospital last week after collapsing during their matchup with Florida State on Dec. 12, returned to practice in a coaching role of sorts on Sunday.

"Keyontae Johnson is back with us and doing well," Florida coach Mike White said, via the Gainesville Sun. "He was at practice this morning and yesterday afternoon. He's in good spirits, he's helping us coach. He actually blew a whistle yesterday."

Florida forward Keyontae Johnson
Keyontae Johnson is back with the Gators in a "coaching" role after his terrifying collapse earlier this month. (AP/Michael Conroy)

Johnson released from hospital after court collapse

Johnson collapsed just minutes into Florida’s game against Florida State on Dec. 12 in Tallahassee, and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher and to a local hospital. He was initially listed in critical but stable condition, and his grandfather said he was briefly placed in a medically induced coma after he was transferred back to a hospital back in Gainesville.

The 21-year-old was eventually upgraded to stable and then was released from the hospital on Dec. 22. The cause of his collapse is not yet clear, though the Gainesville Sun reported that he had been diagnosed with acute myocarditis — a heart condition that causes inflammation of the organ.

Neither Johnson nor his family have gone into detail about what happened to him, and White declined to do so on Monday.

“There’s not a lot I can say about Keyontae from a medical standpoint,” he said, via the Gainesville Sun. “His past, current and future medical condition, because of privacy laws and incomplete information on my end, and most importantly because it’s not my role in this process, his medical team and his family are leading that front. So any decisions, any announcements, will come from them.”

So for now, Johnson is settling into his new role — and he is apparently pretty excited about it.

“Right now he’s really eager to help with scouting and doing some coaching, doing some officiating, talking a little trash on the sideline. He joked about really being heavily involved in scouting on the front end, but it’s actually coming to fruition,” White said, via the Gainesville Sun. “Maybe we thought he was joking and he wasn’t … He’ll do a really good job in that role, and I think it will help his development down the road. Not only that, but I think it will give our guys another voice and a pure voice. And Keyontae will become an extension of us in the near future.”

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