ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Adreian Payne, a former Michigan State basketball player and NBA player, has died in a shooting. He was 31 years old.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a shooting at 1:34 a.m. Monday when Payne was identified and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lawrence Dority, 29, was present at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested on a first degree murder warrant after homicide detectives questioned him.
Payne played in 107 NBA games, averaging four points and three rebounds, over four seasons with Atlanta, Minnesota and Orlando. The Hawks drafted him No. 15 overall in 2014, traded him to the Timberwolves, and he averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds as a potentially promising rookie.
The Magic waived the 6-foot-10 forward in January 2018, after he was part of an ESPN report detailing sexual assault allegations against former high school basketball and football players.
Payne played professionally earlier this year for Juventus in Lithuania. He has also performed in Turkey, France, Greece and China.
Payne, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, started in 94 of 138 games in four seasons for Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State. He averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds as a senior in the 2013-14 season.
Former college teammate Brandon Wood said he has stayed in touch with Payne, speaking to him as recently as last month about his plans to launch a non-fungible token.
“He was looking to start a Spartans-related NFT,” Wood said in a phone interview. “I’ll never forget the good times I had with him and Draymond (Green) when we were roommates. If you’ve ever spent time with AP, you’ve understood that he has a very big heart and cares about people.
While in college, Payne befriended 8-year-old cancer-stricken Lacey Holsworth and spoke at her memorial service in April 2014.
“I had times when I was mad at AP because they didn’t do something right,” Izzo said in a 2014 interview with the Big Ten Network. “I was happy with him, I was proud of him, I was disappointed. Everything that happens in coaching. But until the day I die, I will never forget those few scenes in which I had the privilege of participating thanks to him.
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