Former Michigan State men’s basketball player Adreian Payne has passed away, according to multiple reports on Monday morning. Payne was 31 years old.
Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press confirmed the news after Jared Sullinger, a friend of Payne’s and former Ohio State basketball player, tweeted out the news on Monday morning.
Confirmed the former MSU star big man has died. He was 31. https://t.co/a9SkZvicHH— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) May 9, 2022
Later on Monday, more details were released. Payne was shot in Florida during the early hours of Monday morning.
Details from the Orange County Sheriff’s office in Orlando, Florida. Former MSU star Adreian Payne was shot early Sunday morning and pronounced dead at a local hospital. pic.twitter.com/HM3mO4Psc0— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) May 9, 2022
Payne was a two time second-team All-Big Ten forward with the Spartans. He averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in his senior year. He helped the Spartans win a regular season Big Ten championship in 2011-2012 as well as two Big Ten Tournament championships in 2011-2012 and 2013-2014.
Payne was selected with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft to the Atlanta Hawks before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves mid-season. After playing in Minnesota for three seasons, he then signed a contract with the Orlando Magic before heading overseas.
In Europe, Payne found success with the Greek Basketball League club, Panathinaikos, helping the team win the Greek Basketball Cup in 2019.
In addition to his accomplishments on the court at Michigan State, Payne is also remembered for his special relationship with Lacey Holsworth, an 8-year-old cancer patient who was known as “Princess Lacey.” She tragically passed away in 2014.
Update: Michigan State men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo makes a statement on Payne’s death.
“I’m in shock at the tragic news of Adreian Payne’s death,” Izzo said. “Our prayers are with his family, teammates and loved ones.
“Adreian was loved by his teammates and coaches, who respected his development as a player and a person. He came to Michigan State with a ton of raw talent and put in the work to reach his goal of becoming an NBA player. Beyond that, he will long be remembered by Spartan fans for his kind heart, as his friendship and genuine bond with Lacey Holsworth touched the nation.
“Today is a difficult and sad day for the Spartan basketball family. Following graduation, Adreian regularly returned to East Lansing. In doing so, he developed and strengthened relationships with players from all eras. I’ve heard from many of those players today, each one experiencing heartbreak, and each one with their own fond memory of Adreian.”
Additionally, multiple former and current Michigan State athletes, parents, analysts and others close to the program, including Payne’s former teammates, have expressed their condolences and sorrow over his untimely and tragic loss on Twitter.
Wow, Rest easy AP— Nick Ward (@IamNickWard) May 9, 2022
RIP AP . Spartan Dawg Legend ❤️— Denzel Valentine (@denzelvalentine) May 9, 2022
Life is short. Treasure your loved ones while you can! Rest easy @Adreian_Payne!— Travis Trice (@trice_travis) May 9, 2022
Today is a sad day… I’m in disbelief.. Can’t believe you’re gone AP…— Lourawls Thomas Nairn Jr (@CoachTum11) May 9, 2022
I’m sick right now ♂️ ♂️ . R.I.P. big player AP smdh— Kelvin Torbert (@ktorbert23) May 9, 2022
We would beat the crap out of each other in practice, throwing elbows, talking trash, but in the end there was incredible respect between us. You weren’t just a teammate to us, you were our brother. We love you AP & we’ll never forget you #RIP my brother #SpartanDawgs4Life— Anthony Ianni (@AI44LYD) May 9, 2022
My brother, my roommate, my teammate, one of my closest boys while at State. I’m just glad I heard you out and we had that good talk last month. Love you bro.. pic.twitter.com/MHaQ5RPCvd— Brandon Wood (@BrandonWood30) May 9, 2022
RIP AP— Alvin Ellis (@AEllisIII) May 9, 2022
AP5 ❤️— Gary Harris (@thats_G_) May 9, 2022
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 9, 2022
Sick to hear this devastating news..my vet who took me under his wing as a freshman. Gonna miss you big player. RIP AP— Gavin Schilling (@G_Schills34) May 9, 2022
This one hurt. I’m lost for words right now— Branden Dawson (@whynot_22) May 9, 2022
I just talked to AP a couple of days ago. He was doing so good. He just couldn’t stop talking about his son and how much he’s enjoying basketball.— Delvon Roe (@DelvonRoe10) May 9, 2022
Adreian, was a kind soul. He didn’t deserve this. Spartan Nation, let’s make sure his son is taken care of!
Cookie and I are heartbroken to hear that former Spartan Adreian Payne has passed away. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and Spartan Nation! Adreian will be sorely missed.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 9, 2022
Rest easy AP… gonna cherish all the time we spent together .— Davis Smith (@DavisSatchel1) May 9, 2022
Rest In Peace AP, you will be missed— Jaden Akins (@JadenAkins3) May 9, 2022
Rest In Peace AP real legend— AJ (@ajhoggard3) May 9, 2022
AP no— hen (@hennny11) May 9, 2022
Rest up AP— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) May 9, 2022
RIP AP .— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) May 9, 2022