GAINESVILLE (Fla.) -- Keyontae Johnson was a Florida basketball player who fell during a December game. Sources told The Associated Press that she is deciding whether to get medically cleared to play professionally, or if to cash in on a $5million insurance policy.
According to sources, the AP was informed by sources that the insurance policy for the senior forward went into effect in July 2020. This was five months before he fell and landed face-first at the Florida State court.
Johnson, 22, has not practiced or played since then. One source says that Johnson, who is 6-foot-5 and 230 lbs, will not be cleared by the medical staff to return to the Gators this season.
Florida coach Mike White stated last week that "he's very much part of our program." "No changes in status. Not practicing. Coaching, organizing practice, preparing for practice, and officiating. Drill work is his forte.
He's getting a taste for individual meetings with guys sometimes, trying motivate, trying [guys] to hold them accountable. He does everything he can. He is a selfless guy. He is a winner. He will always be a winner, and he is doing everything he can for his teammates and us as a team."
One source claimed that Johnson, the SEC's preseason player-of-the-year in 2020, is now pursuing a career in the NBA. Johnson would need to be cleared for medical purposes, something that has not happened in the eleven months since his collapse. He then needs to pass any number tests before he can attend next year's NBA Combine and/or work privately out for teams.
One source stated that Johnson's policy gives him enough flexibility to move towards playing professionally while still being able to make an insurance claim. He can choose to receive the $5 million lump sum if he triggers the Florida insurance policy for which he paid premiums. Johnson has no deadline or timeframe to decide his future.
Johnson can take back future earnings if he does not play again.
If college basketball players have remaining eligibility and are likely to be selected in either the NBA or WNBA drafts, they can apply for the NCAA's Exceptional Disability Insurance Program. It also covers men's ice hockey, football and baseball.
You can get insurance for football and men's hockey players up to $10,000,000. According to the NCAA, Tokio Marine HCC is the program administrator.
Johnson will remain "Coach Key" until he makes a decision.
During the Gators' preseason win over Embry–Riddle, 80-57 on Monday, Johnson sat at the bench and offered his guidance to both old and new teammates. Johnson is still enrolled at school and continues to receive scholarship money. Johnson is expected to graduate in April.
While the Gators would love to see him on the ground, they want to help him make good financial decisions and protect his long-term health.
As a sophomore, he averaged 14 points per game and 7.1 rebounds in 2019-20. He shot 54% from the field and played 31.3 minutes per game. He was expected to do even better in the 2018-19 season, but he became a trauma patient Dec. 12. After breaking up a team huddle during the fourth game of the COVID-19-delayed year, he crumpled to court.
Johnson was rushed to Tallahassee Hospital after receiving emergency medical attention. He did so in front of his teammates, fans and opponents. Johnson spent 10 nights in hospital and was able to return home in time for Christmas with his family. After a two-week hiatus, he was available for Florida's first practice.
Florida made it to the fourth consecutive NCAA tournament, despite missing Johnson for most of the season.
Johnson and his family declined to interview Johnson, but released a statement in February stating that Johnson's collapse was not due to a positive COVID-19 test. The statement cited a consulting team of experts from four highly regarded schools of medicine.
Johnson's trauma was not explained by the family.
Johnson hosted a basketball camp with 60 children in June. He was paid by NCAA for his efforts. Johnson is still waiting for medical clearance, which might never happen.
Johnson stated to the Orlando Sentinel that Johnson's collapse could have been caused by a heart problem. Johnson is not permitted to run, jump, or engage in cardiovascular exercises until that possibility has been ruled out.
"That's why they do tests. It takes longer than expected because of this. Johnson said that they don't know. Johnson said that they don't know whether it was my heart, or if it could have been something else. They just thought it was a random incident and are trying to find out the cause to make sure I'm okay before clearing me.