Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson medically cleared for NBA draft after heart issue and collapse

Keyontae Johnson

Keyontae Johnson collapsed while playing in a game in Florida in 2020 and was later diagnosed with heart disease. (Brad Penner/USA Today)

Keyontae Johnson is now officially cleared and eligible for the NBA draft.

Johnson was medically cleared Friday by the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It marked the final step Johnson needed to be eligible for the NBA Draft next month.

Johnson will now begin traveling and training for NBA teams ahead of next month’s draft.

While the news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Johnson played last season for Kansas State and was instrumental in their deep run at the NCAA Tournament, it does mark the end of .

In 2020, when Johnson was a junior at Florida, he collapsed during a game against Florida State and was rushed to hospital. He remained in a coma for three days.

“The first thing I remember waking up in the hospital was seeing my mom and she was holding my hand,” Johnson said. “I heard her talking and my vision was still blurry and she was the first thing I saw and then my dad walked in and just the look on both of their faces I knew something had happened pass.”

Johnson missed the rest of this season, then briefly appeared in one game during the 2021-22 campaign. He transferred to Kansas State for his final year of eligibility last year after having “an athlete’s heart.”

Johnson averaged 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season with the Wildcats and advanced to the Elite Eight, where they were eliminated by Florida Atlantic.

It’s unclear where Johnson will end up in the NBA now. to the Charlotte Hornets in his latest simulation project.

Regardless, however, Johnson is now officially eligible to be drafted first.

“It’s the best story in basketball,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports earlier this year. “To see him come back on the pitch, and not just come back and record minutes, but actually improve, it’s amazing. His shot creation and his versatility as a defender, able to hold multiple positions, are invaluable at the NBA level.”

After what he has been through in recent years, this is an important step.

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