In his very first interview because his mid-game collapse late last year, Florida Gators basketball star Keyontae Johnson said he feels “blessed to be here.”
” I was passed out,” he stated in an interview that appeared Tuesday on the group’s news website. “I could have died. … You simply can’t take life for granted.”
Johnson was taken off the floor on a stretcher after collapsing throughout a timeout in a Dec. 12 video game against rival Florida State. The basketball player gradually recuperated and was launched from the medical facility 10 days after the event.
Johnson said his very first memory after the harrowing experience was waking up in the health center bed.
” When I got up, I thought I was dreaming when I saw my mother in front of me,” he stated. “I was still really sleepy, however I could kind of open my eyes.”
Johnson and a number of his teammates tested positive for Covid-19 throughout the summertime, however doctors determined that his collapse was not connected to his bout with the coronavirus. Johnson said he still does not understand what caused it.
While he is not returning to the court this season, he stated he remains confident.
” I’m going to stick with the favorable mindset that I’m playing once again,” Johnson stated. “I’m still taking tests and going to be taking a lot more tests. I’ll have to get on a treadmill eventually and be linked to things. MRIs, EKGs, stress tests, all that, to discover what caused this.”
Johnson stated he anticipates to resume playing once again “hopefully this summer season.” In the meantime, the Florida Gators gamer said he would get back into shape and assist with hunting upcoming challengers– all while rooting for his team on the sidelines.
” In the past, we ‘d had some people, some circumstances, where players got injured and mentally kind of disappeared. Got disengaged. I wished to gain from that and remain engaged,” Johnson said.
” When they play, they feel my energy. The West Virginia game? I was right under the basket,” he stated, describing Florida’s 85-80 win last month over the West Virginia Mountaineers.
” It was almost like being out there with them.”
Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News.