Top NBA prospect Keyontae Johnson continues his remarkable recovery by helping Kansas State to Sweet 16 at March Madness… after spending three days in a COMA in 2020 when he collapsed on the court
NBA prospect Keyontae Johnson has continued his remarkable recovery from a 2020 on-court collapse by leading Kansas State to the Sweet 16 in March Madness — three years after spending three days in a coma.
In December 2020, the 22-year-old wing was playing for the Florida Gators when he collapsed on the court while walking back from a time out. Johnson was immediately taken off the floor on a stretcher before being rushed to hospital.
There, he stayed in a medically-induced coma for 72 hours. Before the timeout prior to his health scare, Johnson had made a slam dunk in transition. He also tested positive for COVID in the summer of 2020, with some social media users suggesting that his contraction of the virus had played a role in his collapse.
Up until last year, he played four years for the Gators before opting to transfer to Manhattan, Kansas, for his final season of eligibility while recovering on the sidelines.
Now, after scoring 13 points, and registering four rebounds and three assists in the Wildcats’ win over Kentucky (69-75) on Sunday, Johnson has a chance of making a deep run run in the NCAA tournament with Kansas State before the NBA Draft on June 22.
Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson, 22, is averaging 15.5 points per game, two years after his 2020 March Madness collapse while still playing for Florida
On December 12, 2020, Johnson collapsed after putting up a slam dunk against Florida State
Johnson, the Southeastern Conference’s 2020 preseason player, collapsed coming out of a timeout and needed emergency medical. He was later put into a coma for three days
‘It just goes to show the belief in myself and just working hard to prove myself that has gotten me to this point, Johnson said to Yahoo Sports before the start of March Madness.
‘Everything happens for a reasons and it’s all on God’s timing. I love this game and will never take it for granted. It’s the best feeling in the world, playing with my teammates, and I’m ready to go out every night and try and win a championship.’
The wing, who can either play as a small forward or a shooting guard, has been a big-time contributor to Kansas State’s offense this season, putting up 17.5 points and collecting 7.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range.
Johnson scored five points in four minutes before falling to the floor vs. Florida State in 2020
So far in this year’s edition of March Madness, Johnson’s been averaging 15.5 points per game. The fifth-year collegiate player has also been lethal, drilling in a dagger step-back 3-pointer against Kentucky with less than two minutes left in the game.
Johnson’s production over the last year has amassed plenty of new suitors, with the six-foot-six, 230-pound wing earning first-team Big 12 honors and the conference’s Newcomer of the Year.
Projected to be drafted into the NBA as an early second-round pick in mock drafts, Johnson could end up coming into the league as a higher-ranked player, depending on his March Madness performances.
‘I’ve had to be patient through everything,’ Johnson said of his recently, newfound success. ‘I’m just trusting the process.’