Adreian Payne Dies at 31 in Shooting; Michigan State Star Drafted by Hawks in 2014

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2022

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Adreian Payne (33) drives with the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in New Orleans. The Timberwolves won 112-110. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

Former Michigan State, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic player Adreian Payne died in a Florida shooting on Monday morning, the Orange County Sheriff's Office confirmed to Kyle Austin of MLive.com. 

Payne was 31. 

Orange County officers arrested 29-year-old Lawrence Dority at the scene of the shooting on suspicion of first-degree murder. Payne was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Payne spent four seasons at Michigan State, averaging 8.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and a block per game. He was excellent in his senior season, posting 16.4 points and 7.3 boards. The Spartans reached the Elite Eight that year. He was an All-Big Ten selection as both a junior and senior. 

Michigan State Men's Basketball @MSU_Basketball

<a href="https://t.co/zEAvEhspKo">pic.twitter.com/zEAvEhspKo</a>

Brandon Champion @BrandonthaChamp

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RIP</a> Adreian Payne. A truly great Michigan State Spartan on the court, but I'll remember him for this more than anything. <a href="https://t.co/M1Tc2TMCls">https://t.co/M1Tc2TMCls</a>

Jay Bilas @JayBilas

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. <a href="https://t.co/YLXVGwINCV">pic.twitter.com/YLXVGwINCV</a>

Tony Garcia @RealTonyGarcia

Been to a lot of big events at MSU. Never seen a more emotional moment than Adrien Payne’s silent dunk in honor of Lacey Holsworth. Wasn’t a dry eye in the arena.<br><br>Payne, 31, has died. He was always understated, but a very good man. A gut wrenching loss. <a href="https://t.co/vVEaLaONv6">pic.twitter.com/vVEaLaONv6</a>

The Hawks made Payne the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, though he appeared in just three games for the team before he was traded to the Timberwolves for a future first-round pick. 

He remained with the Timberwolves through the 2016-17 season, though the team didn't pick up the fourth-year option on his rookie deal. He then spent five games with the Orlando Magic in the 2017-18 season but was released after an ESPN report detailed former Michigan State student Carolyn Schaner's rape accusations against Payne and MSU teammate Keith Appling in 2010.

No charges were filed in the case. 

Following his NBA career, Payne played overseas in Greece, China, France and Turkey.

Olympiacos B.C. @olympiacosbc

🕊️We are devastated to hear the sad news of Adreian Payne passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Rest In Peace 🙏🏿 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OlympiacosBC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OlympiacosBC</a> <a href="https://t.co/hiVYWbsFPZ">pic.twitter.com/hiVYWbsFPZ</a>

He last played for Juventus Utena in Lithuania this past season.