The Oklahoma City Thunder used the 50th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Keyontae Johnson out of the University of Kansas State. Johnson has had an interesting path to get to this point. He started his collegiate career at the University of Florida, where he suffered a medical condition called Athletes Heart. That forced Johnson into a Medically induced coma that he not only made it out of but eventually returned to the hardwood.
Keyontae Johnson not only made it back to the court at Kansas State but played at an extremely high level for the Wildcats to put himself back on the NBA’s radar. Johnson was cleared by the league medically before the draft and eventually saw himself selected 50th by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For Keyontae Johnson, his looming OKC Thunder debut means much more as a lifelong fan.
Keyontae Johnson is 23 years old from Norfolk, Virginia. He was ranked in the top 70 (69th) of his 2016 high school recruiting class before his College Basketball career that featured teaming up with OKC Thunder guard Tre Mann at the University of Florida.
The OKC Thunder have raved about Keyontae Johnson since he was selected on June 22nd. At the rookie press conference, Sam Presti announced that Johnson would be inked to one of the three two-way slots. A move that is now official. One of the things that stood out to Sam Presti was the knowledge Johnson had of the franchise’s early days.
Keyontae Johnson called it a dream come true to be selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team he grew up rooting for, just like many of you reading this.
As the Oklahoma City Thunder got their Summer League session underway in Salt Lake City this week, Keyontae Johnson was ruled out for that three-game sprint with a hamstring injury. Though, Jazz broadcaster Holly Rowe said he talked with Johnson, and his return to the court will happen “soon,” which aligns with the Vegas timeline we have heard since the injury was announced.
The OKC Thunder will begin their Vegas tour dates on Saturday, July 8th, against the Dallas Mavericks at 2 p.m. Central on ESPN2. Whether Johnson’s debut comes this afternoon or in the coming days, it will be memorable for the lifelong fan to suit up for his favorite team.