Florida Gators ahead Keyontae Johnson may acquire $5 million from an insurance coverage coverage taken out upfront of his anticipated skilled profession in July 2020, in accordance with a report from Mark Lengthy of the Related Press — however he would seemingly have to surrender any aspirations of constant his basketball profession to do it.
Lengthy reviews, citing “two folks with information of Keyontae Johnson’s scenario” who spoke on situation of anonymity due to privateness considerations, that Johnson is mulling attempting to pursue medical clearance to play professionally or opting to set off a coverage that went into impact in July 2020 — some 5 months earlier than his surprising collapse throughout a timeout as Florida performed towards Florida State started a saga that noticed him spend nights in hospitals in Tallahassee and Gainesville.
That coverage, as Lengthy writes, might have been obtained by the NCAA’s Distinctive Scholar-Athlete Incapacity Insurancy Program, which extends the chance to obtain insurance coverage towards doable lack of worth of their skilled careers to athletes competing in a number of main sports activities — soccer, males’s and ladies’s basketball, baseball, and males’s ice hockey. Johnson, as a males’s basketball participant projected to be drafted within the first spherical of the NBA Draft, may have been eligible for as much as $10 million in protection by that program, which might even have provided Johnson a aggressive mortgage to pay for the coverage.
Whereas working by the NCAA’s program would seemingly have been the trail of least resistance to acquiring insurance coverage, Johnson and/or his household may even have taken out insurance coverage on him privately, or finished so by each avenues.
And one in every of Lengthy’s sources says — as has been broadly assumed — that Johnson is unlikely to be cleared to play for Florida by the Gators’ docs this season, which means that his Florida enjoying profession seemingly ended on that fateful afternoon in Tallahassee and that any future enjoying profession would most likely come within the type of making an attempt to make the NBA.
However it doesn’t take lengthy, if one follows Johnson’s Instagram, for clips of him taking pictures or dunking within the current day to pop up on his story. And when Johnson hosted a basketball camp in Gainesville this summer season, he informed the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson “I’m for positive going to play basketball once more,” suggesting the will to ball nonetheless burns inside him. (That report additionally instructed Johnson has been instructed to not run, soar, or take part in cardiovascular train by docs, which dunking would appear to violate — however it’s exhausting to think about that may matter a lot if Johnson’s medical clearance merely by no means comes.)
Johnson has acquired first-class care since his collapse, and the revelation that his situation was not attributable to COVID-19 — shared with the general public in February 2021 — introduced a lot reduction to the sporting world, which had been ready with bated breath to listen to about whether or not what was reported final December to be a analysis of acute myocarditis had any hyperlink to Johnson’s reported summer season bout with the illness.
Nonetheless, the shortage of a public refutation of a analysis of myocarditis within the February assertion issued by Florida on behalf of Johnson and his household led me to write down then that:
It’s doable to view the total sum of what has been reported and revealed about Johnson to be that he examined optimistic for and had COVID-19 over the summer season, collapsed throughout that fateful December sport resulting from myocarditis unrelated to COVID-19, and is now recovering from his collapse and a analysis of myocarditis.
Usually, because the Mayo Clinic’s web page on it notes, myocarditis can resolve itself by itself or be treatable with treatment. However extreme instances could cause everlasting injury — and it clearly appears as if Johnson, now virtually a yr faraway from his final basketball sport, had a extreme case of one thing.
Given his said want and Lengthy’s reporting that he could make progress towards an expert profession with out fully violating his insurance coverage coverage, it might appear the most certainly path ahead for Johnson is a minimum of giving an expert profession a shot, which can little question require discovering a health care provider or docs who will clear him for it.
Given what appears more and more like a medical actuality that he won’t ever be capable of play basketball on the peak of his powers with out risking one other disaster, although, it additionally appears seemingly that Johnson is in the end going to grow to be a millionaire — however by admitting the demise of his first or most valuable skilled dream, somewhat than realizing it.
Eligibility for a big insurance coverage payout is a silver lining to take from one of many darkest days in Florida Gators historical past, and one that everybody who cares for Johnson — who was an incredible basketball participant for Florida, who’s nearly as beloved as any athlete to move by Gainesville in my lifetime has been, and who is bound to obtain thunderous applause when he graduates, as he’s scheduled to do within the spring — can take solace in.
A silver lining remains to be far, far much less superb than sunshine.
And Keyontae Johnson deserves sunshine.