MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – K-State men’s basketball star Keyontae Johnson has been on a tear for the Wildcats en route to the team’s No. 5 AP poll ranking, averaging 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Johnson came to K-State after a few seasons at Florida, where, in his junior season, he collapsed on the floor, not returning to play for two years. Earlier this season, K-State head coach Jerome Tang said that Johnson might not be just the best story in college basketball, but in all of sports.
Before Johnson’s junior season at Florida – the season he collapsed – he was named SEC preseason Player of the Year and was widely considered a first-round NBA Draft prospect.
The NCAA has an insurance policy for top basketball players that are determined to possibly have a career past college. That policy, known as the loss of value insurance by the NCAA, states that it, ‘protects a student-athlete’s future contract value from decreasing below a predetermined amount due to a significant injury or illness suffered during the policy’s designated coverage period.’
In a sit-down interview with Stadium basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, Goodman disclosed that Johnson’s insurance policy would have given the now-Wildcat $5 million. The catch – Johnson would have to medically retire from basketball, forgoing college and any future plans.
“If you never played again, you were going to get $5 million,” Goodman said. “A lot of people would say, ‘You’re crazy,’ because you took a risk here.”
Johnson agreed with Goodman that the decision was to bet on himself. Johnson said that he feels like he can end up making that much money and more with a continued basketball career.
“I just love the game,” Johnson told Goodman. “I feel like I put a lot of work in. I feel like God didn’t give me a second chance [just] to sit out again.”