Adreian Payne, former Michigan State basketball and NBA Draft tour star, was shot and killed at 31

Former Michigan State star and NBA first-round pick Adreian Payne, a key part of the 2014 Spartans Elite Eight that started 94 games in four seasons with the program from 2010-14, died Monday morning after being shot, authorities in Orlando, Florida, he said. He was 31 years old.

The Orange County Police Department has arrested Lawrence Doriti on a warrant to commit first-degree murder Regarding the shooting of Payne. Payne was taken to the hospital after being shot, where he was pronounced dead.

Payne signed with Michigan State as a five-star nominee from Dayton, Ohio, in 2010 via shows from Arizona, Cincinnati and Dayton. He averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Spartans in four seasons, including his career highs as a forward where he averaged 16.4 points and 1.3 assists.

After completing his four-year college career, Payne was drafted #15 overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft. He spent one season with the franchise before settling with the Minnesota Timberwolves for three seasons, playing primarily in the G League. In 2017-18, he played five games with the Orlando Magic.

Michigan State’s Payne became a star on the court, twice receiving All-Big Ten Awards. He also developed a relationship with Lacey Holsworth, a young Michigan fan who had cancer. Their friendship transcended sports and their bond became a national story. She passed away in April 2014.

“Lacey is a special friend. She’s like a sister to me,” Payne said of “Princess Lacy” in 2014, weeks before Lacy’s death.

“Adrian is my brother,” Lacey said. “I only think of him when I smile.”

But out of court, Payne’s story was also complicated. He was waived by Orlando – his last stint in the NBA – after a story in 2018 from ESPN revealed that he and teammate Keith Appling were investigated for sexual assault during their time in East Lansing. While he did not face any of the charges in the case, he told police officers that he apologized to the accused because he felt the woman felt disrespected. Appling has said publicly that the accident was consensual.

In the wake of a 2018 ESPN report detailing inaction and denial related to sexual assault cases in Michigan — including one involving Appling and Payne — Michigan President Lou Anna Simon resigned. Athletic director Mark Hollis has also resigned.

In the years following leaving the NBA, Payne continued his pursuit of a professional career, playing abroad for several teams. He was recently with the BC Juventus team from the Lithuanian Basketball League.

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