- Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
Former Michigan State star Adreian Payne was shot and killed in Orlando, Florida, early Monday morning, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Payne, who was the 15th pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA draft, was 31.
Per local authorities, a man named Lawrence Dority has been arrested for the shooting on a first-degree murder warrant. Dority stayed on the scene and spoke with police before he was transported to jail.
Payne was a member of the All-Big Ten second team in two of his four seasons (2013, 2014) with Tom Izzo’s squad. He averaged 16.4 PPG and 7.3 RPG for the Spartans and led the team to the Elite Eight in the 2013-14 season.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who was Payne’s teammate for two seasons at Michigan State, tweeted broken heart emojis on Monday.
The 6-foot-10 standout played four seasons in the NBA with multiple teams. In 2018, he was waived by the Orlando Magic after he was named in a report by ESPN’s Outside The Lines that he had been involved in an alleged sexual assault at Michigan State in 2010. No charges were filed in that case.
Payne never played in the NBA again but spent the last few years of his career overseas.
During his time at Michigan State, Payne befriended an 8-year-old cancer patient named Lacey Holsworth, who became an inspiration for him and the team. Holsworth helped the team cut down the nets when it won the Big Ten tournament in 2014. Weeks later, Holsworth died. Payne released a statement then about her death.
“Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey,” he said. “She is my sister and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong.”
In September, Payne tweeted that he was taking a break from basketball because his 4-year-old son Amari had to undergo a brain procedure. He said basketball was not as important as his family.
“I will be back doing what I love soon,” Payne wrote in his statement. “Basketball has my heart. Amari is my heartbeat.”
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