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Trail Blazers, NBA players send prayers to Florida Gators star Keyontae Johnson

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Tuesday 1:00p.m. PST Update: Keyontae Johnson, is reportedly in stable condition, breathing on his own and speaking with parents and doctors, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.

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The SEC's preseason player of the year, Keyontae Johnson was reportedly in critical, but stable condition Monday afternoon after being placed in a medically induced coma following Saturday’s Gators-Seminoles game where Johnson collapsed.

The Gators announced Monday that Johnson had been transported to a hospital in Gainesville, Florida after receiving initial treatment in Tallahassee. According to the school, Johnson is undergoing further tests. 

When Johnson was taken off the court on a stretcher Saturday after he collapsed following a Gators timeout, the two teams, with players praying and crying, decided to finish the game with the Seminoles winning 83-71.

It’s still unclear what caused Johnson to collapse.

 

As reported by NBC News, Johnson and many of his Florida teammates tested positive for COVID-19 over the summer and even though there has not been an immediate answer to Johnson’s ailment; there are concerns with the coronavirus leading to myocarditis, a viral infection of the heart muscle. Myocarditis in its most severe cases can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and has been a cause of death for young and otherwise healthy athletes, as NBC News reports.

The NBA world has shown its support for Johnson on social media over the past couple of days.

Trail Blazers big man Harry Giles tweeted out Monday, saying, “Come on Lil bro. We need you @Keyontae.”

Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal and other NBA players also took to twitter to let Johnson and his family know they are sending their prayers. 

While Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard spoke to the media Monday afternoon before learning about Johnson's condition.

Lillard shared his concern for Johnson and then discussed his mentality of playing games this season with the ongoing pandemic.

Going into the bubble, we knew what we were going into and it hadn’t come close to us and the fact that we had some positive tests come out of our facility that was alarming to me and it was an eye-opener and hearing something like this… It’s like, ‘damn, should we actually be doing this?’

Damian Lillard

Lillard added, “we’re really counting on each other and we could do everything right and still somehow come in contact with somebody.”

As college and professional sports organizations work to keep its players safe and healthy, the entire sports world continues to have Johnson in their thoughts and prayers.