How Tragedy, Prayer and Success Connected Keyontae Johnson and Oscar Tshiebwe

GREENSBORO, N.C. — On Dec. 12, 2020, then-Florida forward Keyontae Johnson fell face-first on the court at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. in a game against Florida State.

He was stretchered back to the locker room, then taken to Tallahassee Memorial hospital, where he spent three days in a medically-induced coma. He eventually returned to Gainesville, but returning to the court wasn’t an immediate option.

Johnson was first diagnosed with acute myocarditis (heart inflammation), but later said that it was a condition known as “Athlete’s Heart,” which is an increase in cardiac mass due to systematic training that can lead to sudden death.

It was an emotional reminder about how fragile life can be in the sports world — an area that is so often used as a gateway and escape from the tear-jerking issues that surround the lives of many.

Florida’s players were given the chance to not play the rest of the game that day, but instead opted to battle through the thoughts of potentially losing one of their brothers, eventually losing 83-71, though the result was of the least importance.

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