Florida Gators basketball star Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed on the court during a game on Saturday, was the subject of congratulations and was recovering from second grade students at a Florida elementary school. Johnson was placed in a medically induced coma but is currently in a stable condition and is breathing on his own.
Kaitlyn Day, a teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary in Gainesville, Florida, was ready to teach on Monday when the subject of Johnson's health emerged.
"We were talking about Florida sports in my class and one of my students was puzzled as to why the soccer players (in Florida's game against LSU last weekend) were wearing different numbers and why we were taking a moment of silence," said Day opposite ESPN. "We then talked about it and one of my students wanted to write Keyontae, so I let her."
Sports at the University of Florida is often a hot topic in the classroom as many of the students are fans. Day has a bachelor's and master's degree from Florida and is still enrolled in college to work on her PhD.
After the letters were finished, Day tweeted pictures of the students' efforts on Wednesday.
If your second grade wants @Keyontae to feel better, take them all notes! Hope this mail makes you smile – get well soon! @MikeWhiteUF @espn @GatorsMBK pic.twitter.com/obj9PiC74h
– Kaitlyn (@ kaitlynday03) December 16, 2020
"I've never seen a game (but) I want you to be better so I can watch the Gators win, (Love) Parker," wrote one letter.
"You are the best player I have ever known," wrote another with a drawing of a smiling Johnson holding a basketball with fans in his hand and yelling: "He's the best!" and "look at him!"
For their part, the Florida Gators responded to Day's tweet, saying they would make sure Johnson saw the letters.
Day says she is excited about what the students have come up with.
"I couldn't be more proud of her," said Day. “They took very vague directions and made them into something that mattered to them. Their work is real and sentimental to them and they were so excited to put a smile on someone's face. Students really learned to care caring for someone and being allowed to do something for someone's day, even without knowing them. "
Johnson has received a ton of congratulations and support on social media. The Gators' top scorer has shown progress in recovery and is awake, sitting up, talking to his doctors and teammates, according to the University of Florida. The Gators have decided to postpone upcoming games, including December 19th against Florida Atlantic, December 20th against Florida A&M and December 22nd against James Madison.