Keyontae Johnson inspires others to come back after medical scare

MANHATTAN, Kansas (KSNT) — If there was a Comeback Participant for Life award, Keontay State ahead Keontay Johnson may win it.

“Two years felt like 4,” Johnson mentioned. “A variety of the times you are down.”

Johnson doesn’t play basketball as somebody who has taken two years off.

“To get out of the gate so rapidly, I do not suppose anybody anticipated that,” mentioned Korea State males’s basketball coach Jerome Tang.

Even his teammates had been stunned at how rapidly Johnson improved.

“You count on to see some form of rust or some form of course of to get again on prime,” mentioned Marquis Noel, a senior ranger at Kay State. “For him, immediately, as a result of he was in a position to begin operating and join, it was elite.”

On December 12, 2020, Johnson handed out after a layoff throughout the Florida/Florida State males’s basketball sport.

“It was principally a bizarre factor,” Johnson mentioned. “They’re nonetheless attempting to get the assessments completed. They nonetheless have my medical stuff, in order that they’re nonetheless searching for it and doing a variety of analysis behind it.”

Happily, the one damage he sustained was a damaged lip, so there wasn’t a lot to get well from. Nevertheless, Johnson had hassle getting docs cleared to return to basketball because of the uncertainty surrounding his breakdown. He hasn’t been within the sport he loves for nearly two full seasons.

“I knew groups can be afraid to threat bringing me in, so Coach Tang instructed me from day one which he wasn’t afraid,” Johnson mentioned. “He simply noticed how I might assist this system, which made it particular for me to return right here.”

Johnson had little question that he wished to play Division I basketball once more.

“There was no apprehension on his half or ours,” Tang mentioned. “He wished to play. There may be a variety of need in him. He simply loves the sport of basketball.”

When he was lastly in a position to play once more, a faculty with high quality medical workers was one in all his prime priorities when he was within the switch gate.

“I needed to discover the best college that had the right medical staff,” Johnson mentioned. “There have been a variety of colleges I wished to go to, however medication wasn’t updated. I simply felt like, with Coach Tang, he had an identical scenario at Baylor with one in all his former gamers. How they had been updated with the docs, ensuring I used to be going To all of the docs’ appointments. To at the present time we nonetheless do a variety of docs’ appointments.”

Johnson does not fear about collapsing once more, however his coaches and teammates be sure they deal with him anyway.

“We’re very grateful that Mother and Dad had been at peace about our staff,” Tang mentioned. “That features Luke and Phil, and Dr. Wahl, all the things we’ve got to assist the Keyontae and control all the things.”

Via all of it, his aim has remained the identical: to play within the NBA. This flexibility is an inspiration for this technology and the subsequent.

“For me, it is simply such a blessing to see how a lot youngsters take pleasure in watching me play,” mentioned Johnson. “I might have given up. I really feel like this might have modified lots of people’s life-style, simply seeing me quit and feeling prefer it was the best manner to surrender.”

Johnson rapidly turns into a star in Manhattan, however his attain is affecting the nation.

“He is a rock star right here,” mentioned Noel. “He offers fives. He shakes fingers with kids. He talks to them and is clear with them. That is why they love him a lot.”

Johnson averages 18.4 factors and seven.1 rebounds per sport as Ok-State basketball embraces his contributions as an electrical starter. The Wildcats are 15-2 total and 4-1 in Massive 12 play. Ok-State will host KU within the first two video games of the ‘Sunflower Showdown’ of the season on Tuesday, January seventeenth.

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