Former Michigan State star and NBA first-round pick Adreian Payne was shot and killed early Monday morning in Orange County, Fla., police said. He was 31 years old.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting at 1:37 a.m. Monday morning to find Payne suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police arrested 29-year-old Lawrence Dority on first-degree murder charges.
Payne averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in 138 games (94 starts) from 2010-14 for the Spartans and coach Tom Izzo.
“I’m in shock at the tragic news of Adreian Payne’s death,” Izzo said in a statement. “Our prayers are with his family, teammates and loved ones.
“Adreian was loved by his teammates and coaches, who respected his development as a player and a person. He came to Michigan State with a ton of raw talent and put in the work to reach his goal of becoming an NBA player. Beyond that, he will long be remembered by Spartan fans for his kind heart, as his friendship and genuine bond with (8-year-old cancer patient) Lacey Holsworth touched the nation.
“Today is a difficult and sad day for the Spartan basketball family. Following graduation, Adreian regularly returned to East Lansing. In doing so, he developed and strengthened relationships with players from all eras. I’ve heard from many of those players today, each one experiencing heartbreak, and each one with their own fond memory of Adreian.”
Payne was selected No. 15 overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft and averaged 4.0 points in 107 career games (24 starts) with the Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic.
The Hawks traded him to Minnesota after three games in the 2014-15 season.
Payne also played overseas. He was part of Panathinaikos, which won the Greek Basketball League title in 2018. Payne last played for Juventus Utena in Lithuania in February. He also played in China, France and Turkey.
–Field Level Media
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