Sports world, fellow Spartans pay tribute to Adreian Payne after he’s killed in Florida

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after a basket in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the East Regional Final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (Elsa, 2014 Getty Images)

The sports world is mourning after former Michigan State University basketball star Adreian Payne was gunned down in Florida on Monday.

The shooting happened at 1:37 a.m. Monday in the 2500 block of Egret Shores Drive in Orlando, Florida, according to authorities. Police said Payne was shot and killed by Lawrence Dority, 29, who stayed at the scene and was taken into custody by Orange County deputies. Payne was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Former Spartans teammates and other sports figures have been expressing sadness on social media as the news trickled out on Monday.

Basketball career

Payne was an All-Big Ten Second Team honoree each of his final two seasons with the Spartans. From 2010-2014, he 1,232 points to go along with 735 rebounds, 141 blocks, and 85 assists. He shot over 40% from the 3-point line in his college career, and 52.6% from the floor overall.

As a senior, Payne averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3% from beyond the arc. He led the Spartans to a 29-9 record, a Big Ten Tournament title, and an Elite Eight appearance.

Payne was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He appeared in just three games for the Hawks before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. His final stop came with the Orlando Magic during the 2017-2018 season.

Overall, Payne played in 107 NBA games, averaging 4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

Off the court

Throughout his career, Payne was known for his close relationship with Lacey Holsworth, a young cancer patient at St. Johns Hospital in Michigan. Everyone who followed college basketball knew about Payne and Lacey.

The two met when Payne visited her at the hospital during his Michigan State career, and the two formed a friendship that included spending time together and cheering each other on.

Through her friendship with Payne, Lacey’s family attended the Dick Vitale Gala to help benefit cancer research for children. Vitale -- who also battled cancer this winter and recently announced he’s cancer-free -- spent time with Lacey and her parents before Payne’s final game at the Breslin Center.

“It’s great to see a love affair in a situation like that where there’s such love, respect, and admiration,” Vitale said.


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.