Former NBA player Adreian Payne shot dead in Orlando – WEIS

Romain Biard/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Adreian Payne, former NBA first-round pick and star college basketball player for Michigan State, was fatally shot early Monday in Orlando, Fla., according to the sheriff’s office. of Orange County.

Payne was drafted 15th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 2014 and played for the Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic during a five-year NBA career.

He was 31 years old.

The former player was shot dead in an Orlando home around 1:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The suspected shooter, Lawrence Dority, 29, remained at the scene after the shooting and was arrested for first-degree murder, the sheriff’s office said. He is being held in the Orange County Jail.

The sheriff’s office has no motive for the shooting.

Payne won hearts at the 2014 NCAA Tournament by befriending a young girl battling cancer named Lacey Holsworth. Payne met the 8-year-old, who was battling neuroblastoma, during a team visit to a local hospital several years earlier and struck up a friendship. When the Michigan State Spartans won the Big Ten title in 2014, Payne let her cut the net.

Holsworth died of cancer on April 8, 2014, just three weeks after the Spartans won the conference title.

After his five years in the NBA, Payne had a successful career playing in Europe. The 6-foot-10 center has played in Greece, China, France, Turkey and Lithuania. He won a Greek league title with mighty Panathinaikos in 2018 and French league side ASVEL in 2019. ASVEL posted a photo of him holding the championship trophy on Twitter and called the news ” terribly shocking.”

Payne played for Juventus Utena, Lithuania, as recently as February.

“So sad to hear that former Michigan State star Adreian Payne has passed away at the age of 31,” ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas wrote on Twitter. “AP was an exceptional player for Tom Izzo and befriended Lacey Holsworth throughout his battle with cancer. RIP Adréian Payne.

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who was Payne’s teammate at Michigan State, posted several heartbroken emojis on Monday morning.

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