Adreian Payne, former Michigan State University basketball star and NBA player, died at 31-years-old. According to Michigan Live, Payne was shot and killed early Monday morning (May 9) in Orlando and died at a local hospital. His alleged shooter, Lawrence Dority, was taken into custody at the scene and arrested on a warrant for first-degree murder.
Payne was a member of the NCAA All-Big Ten second team in 2013 and 2014, averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 athlete was subsequentially selected as the 15th pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA draft.
From there, Payne played four seasons in the NBA with multiple teams before being waived in 2018 by the Orlando Magic after being named in a sexual assault allegation at Michigan State stemming from 2010. No charges were filed in the case. Still, Payne never returned to the NBA court and took his skills overseas.
In September, Payne tweeted that he was stepping off the court to support his 4-year-old son, Amari, who was undergoing an extensive medical procedure for hydrocephalus, which is defined as “the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain.”
“I will be back doing what I love soon,” Payne expressed. “Basketball has my heart. Amari is my heartbeat.”
The Dayton, Ohio native is remembered by fans, teammates, friends, and more on social media.
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 9, 2022
RIP to my brother @Adreian_Payne man. This one gone hurt for a while! Almost 20 years of friendship ?
— Juwan Staten Sr. (@JuwanStaten3) May 9, 2022
Hate the news i received this morning…. Rest Easy to my brother/Teammate @Adreian_Payne
— Jared Sullinger Sr. (@Jared_Sully0) May 9, 2022
Adreian Payne will always be remembered for his friendship with Lacey Holsworth, who died from cancer a few weeks after she and Payne cut down net in the 2014 Big Ten tournament.
— Ian Kress (@ian_kress) May 9, 2022
RIP Adreian Payne ?
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) May 9, 2022
So sad to hear that former Michigan State star Adreian Payne passed away at the age of 31. AP was an outstanding player for Tom Izzo, and befriended Lacey Holsworth through her battle with cancer. RIP Adreian Payne. pic.twitter.com/YLXVGwINCV
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) May 9, 2022