Adreian Payne, ex-Michigan State basketball star, dead at 31

Former Michigan State basketball star Adrian Payne was shot and killed early Monday morning in Orlando, Florida.

A source confirmed Payne’s death to the Free Press on Monday morning.

Around noon, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida announced it responded to a call at 1:37 am of a man who had been shot. Payne was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies arrested a suspect in the shooting, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, at the scene on a warrant for first-degree murder.

Payne, a 31-year-old native of Dayton, Ohio, played for the Spartans from 2010-14 and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors his junior and senior seasons.

Perhaps his biggest legacy came as the 6-foot-10 forward befriended a young girl from St. Johns stricken with cancer, Lacey Holsworth, who became a fixture around the 2013-14 Spartans. Payne held her to help cut down the nets after MSU won the Big Ten tournament title in Indianapolis, and the story of their friendship became a major national story throughout the Spartans’ NCAA tournament run that ended with an Elite Eight loss to Connecticut. She died of complications from neuroblastoma a little more than a week after the season ended, and Payne paid tribute to the 8-year-old along with his teammates during an emotional tribute ceremony at Breslin Center.

Leave a Comment