VIDEO: Auburn’s Bruce Pearl leads prayer circle after Florida’s Keyontae Johnson’s scary collapse
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl lead his team in prayer for Florida’s Keyontae Johnson, following his collapse in a game against Florida State. In a video released by the universities’ Twitter account, an emotional Pearl can be seen imploring his players to pray for the ill forward.
🙏 for Keyontae pic.twitter.com/2q4IcN5rDw
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) December 12, 2020
Coming early in the first half Saturday afternoon, Johnson completed an alley-oop dunk on a pass from teammate Tryee Appleby, before walking towards the sideline in celebration following a timeout. Before reaching the team’s huddle however, Johnson suddenly collapsed to the ground. Eventually being rushed to a local hospital, reports have since emerged that Johnson is in critical, but stable condition.
While the exact cause of the ailment has yet to be confirmed, Johnson was diagnosed with Covid-19 over the past summer. As Myron Metcalf of ESPN has speculated, that could be a key factor as myocarditis, a viral heart infection that can result from Coronavirus is a possible culprit.
Following the removal of Johnson from the arena, the two teams returned to play despite both rosters appearing emotional. While they held an 11-3 lead at the time of Johnson’s collapse, the Gators ultimately fell to the 20th ranked Seminoles, 83-71. Their first loss of the season, Florida is next scheduled to play on December 16th against the University of North Florida.
As for Pearl and the Tigers, the team will need to quickly switch gears as they prepare to face the Memphis Tigers Saturday afternoon. Though the team is off to a disappointing start to the season at 2-2, it appears likely that their thoughts will be with Keyontae Johnson and the Florida Gators.