Keyontae Johnson, the former Florida basketball star who hasn’t played since collapsing during a game in December 2020, is being recruited by Memphis coach Penny Hardaway.
The 6-foot-5 former All-SEC forward entered the transfer portal in May and has taken official visits to Kansas State and Western Kentucky. He also reportedly has scheduled a visit with Nebraska.
But multiple sources confirmed to The Commercial Appeal that the Tigers are among the teams recruiting Johnson, who told On3 that he is only considering Memphis, Kansas State, WKU and Nebraska.
Memphis has conducted at least one Zoom call with Johnson and his family. Memphis is also currently working through the medical evaluation process, according to sources.
Hardaway revamped the Memphis roster this offseason, adding six Division I transfers and an international player as a freshman. The Tigers have at least one available scholarship.
Johnson, who also graduated from Florida in May, made national headlines on Dec. 12, 2020, when he fell face-first while walking back onto the court following a timeout four minutes into a game at Florida State. Johnson was put on a stretcher, then taken to a Tallahassee medical facility by ambulance. He was released 10 days later.
A firm diagnosis for what caused Johnson to collapse remains unclear. Johnson’s family has refuted reports that his medical emergency was related to a previous positive COVID-19 test. According to multiple reports, Johnson took out a $5 million insurance policy in July 2020. The policy will pay out if he never plays again. It allows Johnson to take part in a set number of games in order to test his health. But if he exceeds that number, the payout would be nullified.
Johnson’s star was well on the rise before his career was interrupted. After averaging 14.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Gators in 2019-20, he was voted the Preseason SEC Player of the Year. Johnson’s junior season – which began Dec. 2, due to the pandemic – was off to a fine start. He scored in double figures in each of his first three games and notched a double-double (24 points, 12 boards) in a win over Boston College.
Nine days later, Johnson was in the hospital in a medically induced coma, his grandfather, Larry DeJarnett, told USA TODAY at the time. Two days later, according to the university, Johnson was alert and “following simple commands.”
In 71 career games at Florida, Johnson averaged 11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He sports a 52.1% career field goal percentage and is a 37.6% 3-point shooter.
Reach sports writer Jason Munz at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @munzly.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis basketball recruiting Keyontae Johnson, Florida transfer