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Former Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne shot and killed at age 31

Heartbreaking news on this Monday...

Former Michigan State and professional basketball player Adreian Payne was shot and killed this morning the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida confirmed in a statement.

The statement said there was a shooting at 1:37 a.m. on Monday morning, and that a man in his 30s who was shot, later identified as Payne, was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

The statement also said that the shooter, a man later identified as Lawrence Dority, remained at the scene stayed at the scene and was transported to OCSO headquarters to be interviewed by homicide detectives. Dority was then arrested on a warrant for first-degree murder charges and taken to Orange County Jail.

Payne played four seasons at Michigan State from 2010-14, appearing in 138 games with 94 starts. His role increased year-by-year as a Spartan, culminating in a senior season in which he was named second team All-Big Ten after compiling 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

Payne helped Michigan State win a share of the regular season Big Ten championship during his sophomore season in 2011-12. The Spartans made two Sweet Sixteen appearances and an Elite Eight appearance in the final three years of Payne's career.

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Payne was selected No. 15 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks and played parts of four professional seasons with the Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, while also playing in the G-League.

In 2018, Payne began playing overseas with the Greek club Panathinaikos. His career continued up until the 2021-22 season, when he played with Juventus Utena of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

While Payne's basketball career at Michigan State was both impressive and noteworthy, his friendship with Lacey Holsworth set him apart. Payne met the 8-year-old Holsworth, who suffered from cancer, when the team visited her during a hospital stay.

Their friendship was highlighted during Payne's senior season by a feature produced by the Big Ten Network, which drew both local and national attention. Payne carried Holsworth onto the Breslin Center floor during Senior Day. Holsworth died on April 8, 2014, just weeks after Michigan State’s season ended and two months before Payne became a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.

Twitter: @mlounsberry3434

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