Sports

Keyontae Johnson enters NCAA transfer portal

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida forward Keyontae Johnson‘s story will take yet another turn, with the 2020-21 SEC Preseason Player of the Year entering the NCAA transfer portal this weekend.

247Sports confirmed Johnson has entered and will potentially seek the opportunity to play elsewhere in his final year of eligibility. Johnson participated in Florida’s Senior Day ceremonies this season and even made a ceremonial start in the gamebut UF never did clear him medically following a scary on-court collapse on Dec. 12, 2020 and was not going to in the future.

Thus, he was not expected to play at Florida under new coach Todd Golden in 2022-23.

Johnson hit the floor after appearing to fall unconscious just a few minutes into the team’s contest against Florida State during the 2020-21 season. He was immediately tended to and transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

After being airlifted to UF Health later, Johnson was released from the hospital 10 days following his collapse.

He has served as a player-coach for Florida for the past season and a half as he underwent continued testing to determine the cause of his collapse, which has yet to be revealed publicly. Johnson’s family has stated his collapse of him was not related to any COVID-19 diagnosis, either current at the time of collapse or prior.

Johnson was a star player for the Gators, expected to turn into an NBA Draft pick following his junior season.

He averaged 14.0 points and 7.1 rebounds as a sophomore in the COVID-19-shortened 2019-20 campaign before starting off the 2020-21 season averaging 16.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the first four contests before the collapse cut his UF career short .

That Johnson has entered the NCAA transfer portal is interesting, especially since he had taken out a $5 million insurance policy prior to his junior season.

According to a report from the Associated Press, citing two people with knowledge, Johnson took out the policy that UF paid the premiums in July 2020, well before the season began. That policy offered him financial protection against injury as a possible first-round NBA Draft pick heading into the season.

The AP reported Johnson’s policy did not preclude a potential attempt to return to the court, noting it “provides him enough flexibility to take steps toward playing professionally and still be able to reverse course and make an insurance claim.”

Johnson also could be eligible for the NCAA’s Exceptional Disability Insurance Program, as the AP outlined below:

College basketball players are eligible for the NCAA’s Exceptional Disability Insurance Program if they have remaining eligibility and have the potential to be selected in the first round of the upcoming NBA or WNBA draft. The program also covers football, baseball and men’s ice hockey.

Football and men’s basketball players can be insured for up to $10 million. Tokio Marine HCC, based in Wakefield, Massachusetts, is the program administrator, according to the NCAA.

Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore filed a claim on a $1.7 million disability insurance policy he took out in college. Former Florida defensive tackle Ed Chester was one of the first college players to benefit from an insurance policy. Chester collected $1 million in 1999 after suffering a knee injury during his senior year.

Johnson could be in for a bigger payday. …

It’s unclear how a potential return to the court at the college level would affect Johnson’s insurance policy.

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