Keyontae Johnson honored with ceremonial start in likely final game with Florida Gators basketball

By Adam Silverstein
March 5, 2022
Keyontae Johnson honored with ceremonial start in likely final game with Florida Gators basketball
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

Likely on the court for the final time in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, star forward Keyontae Johnson was given the honor of starting the Florida Gators’ final game of the regular season in a ceremonial compacity against the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats. He has not played since December 2020 after collapsing on the court minutes into a road game at Florida State.

Johnson participated in layup lines with his teammates ahead of the game and was on the court for the opening tip-off prior to a timeout being called so he could exit to a standing ovation from the crowd.

After being medically ruled out, Johnson spent the remainder of the 2020-21 season as a player assistant for the Gators. He considered declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft in the offseason but chose to return to the program as he sought medical clearance from doctors and team trainers.

Unfortunately for Johnson, that clearance never came despite his desire to suit up for Florida. He resumed his role as a player assistant for the 2021-22 campaign and served as a steady presence for his teammates in the locker room amid significant offseason changes across the roster and coaching staff.

It is unknown what Johnson’s future holds.

“It is extremely touching and very much appreciated to have the support of Gator Nation and the world standing by my side,” Johnson said in April 2021.

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