Sunday, June 4 2023
Keyontae Johnson

Keyontae Johnson collapsed while playing in a game at Florida in 2020, and was later diagnosed with a heart condition. (Brad Penner/USA Today)

Keyontae Johnson is now officially cleared and eligible for the NBA Draft.

Johnson was medically cleared on Friday by the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That marked the last step Johnson needed to be eligible for the NBA draft next month.

Johnson will now start traveling and working out for NBA teams ahead of next month’s draft.

While the news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Johnson played last season for Kansas State and was instrumental in their deep NCAA tournament run, it marks the end of what has been a tumultuous stretch for the 23-year-old.

In 2020, when Johnson was a junior at Florida, he collapsed during a game against Florida State and was rushed to the hospital. He was in a coma for three days.

“The first thing I remember waking up in the hospital is seeing my mom and she was holding my hand,” Johnson told Yahoo Sports earlier this year. “I heard her talking and my vision was still blurry and she was the first thing I saw and then my dad walked in and just the look on both their faces, I knew something happened.”

Johnson missed the rest of that season, and then briefly appeared in one game during the 2021-22 campaign. He transferred to Kansas State for his final year of eligibility last year after being cleared by several doctors and being diagnosed with “athlete’s heart.”


Johnson averaged 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season with the Wildcats and made it to the Elite Eight, where they were knocked out by Florida Atlantic.

It’s unclear where Johnson will end up now in the NBA. Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek had him going No. 34 overall to the Charlotte Hornets in her latest mock draft.

Either way, though, Johnson is now officially eligible to be drafted in the first place.

“It’s the best story in basketball,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports earlier this year. “To see him return to the court, and not only return and log minutes, but actually get better is incredible. His shot creation and how versatile he is as a defender, being able to guard multiple positions, is valuable at the NBA level.”

After what he’s been through the past several years, that’s a huge milestone.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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