Florida forward Keyontae Johnson said Wednesday he is awaiting medical clearance to return to basketball. And when he gets it, he plans to play for Florida and not enter the 2021 NBA Draft.
Johnson, the 2020-21 SEC preseason Player of the Year, collapsed during the first half of the Dec. 12 game against Florida State and did not play again last season. The exact cause of his collapse wasn’t made public, and his family said in February it was not related to COVID-19.
“Thank you for the prayers and concern that you all have shown to me during these trying few months,” Johnson said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It is extremely touching and very much appreciated to have the support of Gator Nation and the world standing by my side.
“I am progressing & steadily making progress daily in my health. I am patiently waiting on medical clearance. While speaking with my Family, Doctors, Coaches, and Athletic Trainer I’ve decided not to enter my name into the 2021 NBA Draft.”
He spent time with the Gators in a volunteer coaching capacity to close out last season.
Johnson was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2019-20. He was widely projected to be a first-round pick in the 2021 draft entering last season..
He averaged 14.0 points and 7.1 rebounds in 31 games (all starts) in 2019-20 and averaged 16.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in four games in 2020-21.
It’s a legacy he wants to build upon.
“I plan to keep working to prepare for the upcoming season,” he said. “My story continues to be written.”