Chase Johnson will return to the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program for the 2020-21 season, coach Anthony Grant announced Friday.
The news comes three days after Dayton assistant coach Anthony Solomon shared a photo a team Zoom call. Johnson was one of the players pictured.
“We are happy that Chase is returning to campus for the 2020-21 academic year,” Grant said in a press release. “He is excited to return and looks forward to rejoining his teammates.”
Johnson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Ripley, W.Va., withdrew from the University of Dayton in January and took a medical leave of absence after being diagnosed with post-concussive stress syndrome.
In an Instagram post announcing his decision to leave the Flyers, Johnson also said he was suffering from the “lingering effects” of mononucleosis,” which he said he had in August.
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Johnson wrote he made the decision after close consultation with his doctors.
“This has been a tough decision for me,” Johnson said. “I need to consider my future health beyond the game of basketball. I look forward to continuing my progress as I pursue getting healthy and returning to the game of basketball. I appreciate the support of my family, the UD coaching staff and well wishes of UD fans.”
Johnson transferred from Florida to Dayton in January 2019 and was granted immediately eligibility by the NCAA before last season, allowing him to play from the start of the season instead of sitting out games in the first semester. Johnson suffered concussions in both his years with the Florida Gators and also missed time because of a neck injury and an illness.
Johnson averaged 5.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in the first eight games last season. He started the first game of the season but was then replaced in the starting lineup by Trey Landers.
Johnson had his best game Dec. 3 against Houston Baptist, scoring 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting in 14 minutes. He made his last appearance of the season Dec. 8, scoring two points in six minutes against Saint Mary’s.
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Dayton then announced before the Drake game on Dec. 14 Johnson had been sidelined with an illness. When he left the program in January, Johnson’s name remained on the roster on the team’s official website.
When asked in May if there was a chance Johnson would return, Grant said, “I think there’s always the possibility, but I’d say right now it’s premature to speculate in terms of saying I know what’s going to happen going forward.”
With Johnson, who will be a redshirt junior in the 2020-21 season, returning to the program, Dayton has filled 12 of its 13 scholarships. That’s assuming Jalen Crutcher, who entered his name in the NBA Draft, returns to the team. All of the 12, except USC transfer Elijah Weaver, will be eligible to play in the 2020-21.
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