Keyontae Johnson Rejoins Florida Gators Teammates On The Court As ‘Coach Key’
What an incredible sight to see as Keyontae Johnson was back on the college basketball court helping out his team in a ‘coach’-type role.
It was a scary situation and led to Johnson recovering the hospital for days after the incident.
Keyontae and his family received countless prayers, encouragement, and support during that time as they faced this trying situation together.
Then, on December 18, Johnson posted this video from the hospital:
“Hey everybody, first and foremost, I would like to thank God,” Johnson said in the post on Twitter. “I know y’all have been sending y’all prayers out the last few weeks and me and my parents are very grateful for the prayers that’s been going out.”
Fast forward to January 2, where Keyontae joined his teammates on the court, just this time as “Coach Key”. Johnson even had a spot reserved for him with that “Coach Key” name written on a piece of tape on the chair.
Florida men’s head basketball coach Mike White, per ESPN on December 28, “said Johnson already has mentioned that he’s ‘ready to roll’ and wants to practice, but doctors will decide when and whether that happens this season. Until then, the Gators will be without the SEC’s preseason player of the year…’We won’t be the same team,’ White said.”
After a 83-79 win over LSU on January 2, White said: “It felt great. I feel a lot better, I know our staff does, and I’m sure our guys do, too, just with him being right there and he’s a leader, he’s charismatic, he loves his teammates. So when he says something at timeouts or in huddles, it holds a lot of weight, he’s got ultimate respect from his teammates. There’s no doubt he was a factor today.”
Coach Key, a factor in helping Coach White and the Gators get that first win of the new year:
“’Write your own story’, Johnson said in the Tweet on December 18. “God said my work here ain’t done.”
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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