Keyontae Johnson is coming home.
Ten days after his shocking collapse on the floor of the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee and three days before Christmas, the Florida Gators forward is being released from UF Shands Hospital — and will spend Christmas with his family, according to an update from the Johnson family released through Florida’s men’s basketball program.
In addition to the great news about Johnson being able to leave the hospital — something that was far from most minds in the first hours and days after his collapse, as he spent a weekend at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in “critical but stable condition” — the statement includes the important detail that Johnson’s family is “committed to sharing not only updates on Keyontae but also any information we think could help others.”
That’s a reflection of, as the statement acknowledges, a critical mass of questions in college sports about what led to Johnson’s collapse — and specifically, whether his reported positive test for (and thus infection with) COVID-19 prior to the season might have had anything to do with it.
The Johnsons consenting and committing to that sharing of information has the potential to save lives and/or preserve the continued return of college athletics, and had been called for by coaches and pundits who have been fretting about the possibility that other situations like Johnson’s will result in similarly tragic moments in the near future.
For now, the statement notes that “the process to draw definitive conclusions continues,” and so the family “ask(s) for patience as the medical professionals continue their work.”
That family will now have its only son — happy and healthy, against odds that seemed impossibly long — and is giving back what it can. And if that sort of spirit from the Johnsons doesn’t merit a merry Christmas this week, what does?
Update, 8:00 p.m.: Per a report late Tuesday evening from Zach Abolverdi, Johnson has been diagnosed with acute myocarditis, and is likely to miss the remainder of the college basketball season.