Who killed Adreian Payne? Former NBA, Michigan State star, 31, shot dead in Orlando

Lawrence Dority, 29, the suspected gunman, stayed on the scene and cooperated with police


                            Who killed Adreian Payne? Former NBA, Michigan State star, 31, shot dead in Orlando
Former Michigan State basketball standout and NBA player Adreian Payne has died in a shooting. He was 31 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Adreian Payne, a big guy who played four seasons in the NBA and thrived at Michigan State, died on May 9, Monday at the age of 31. The Orange County Sheriff's Office verified that Payne died from a gunshot in a shooting that occurred at 1:30 am in Orlando, Florida. Payne was killed in the Econ Landing neighborhood. He was taken to the hospital but was declared dead.

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Lawrence Dority, 29, the suspected gunman, stayed on the scene and cooperated with police. Dority was charged with first-degree murder and was apprehended. Why Dority shot him has not yet been revealed. From 2010 through 2014, Payne, an Ohio native attended Michigan State to play under Tom Izzo and was a teammate of Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green. In a news conference prior to his team's game against Memphis on Tuesday, May 10, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, "Draymond is crushed. They were the best of friends. We’re thinking of them today. Feeling a lot of grief."

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In his sophomore and senior years, Payne was Second-Team All Big Ten Team. He was on the Wooden and Naismith award watch lists entering his final season with the Spartans, and he went on to average 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Adreian Payne of the Michigan State Spartans match against the Connecticut Huskies for 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)

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In 2012 and 2014, Payne and Michigan State won the Big Ten tournament. When he met Lacey Holsworth, a little girl who inspired Michigan State's basketball squad before dying of nervous system cancer at the age of eight in 2014, the former Spartan earned widespread attention. Payne, who referred to her as "Princess Lacey," stated at the time, "She helped me in a lot of ways. Me being able to spend time with her, take my mind off basketball, that’s good when you can do that." The Atlanta Hawks selected Payne 15th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft that year. Payne also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic during his four seasons in the NBA, averaging four points and three rebounds in 107 games.

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Adreian Payne walks on the floor for Senior night with Lacey Holsworth, a 8-year-old from St. Johns Michigan who is battling cancer, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-76 at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time," Orlando Magic spokesman Joel Glass wrote in an email. Payne played internationally in Greece, China, and Lithuania after departing the NBA after the 2017-18 season.

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Fans of the MSU player paid tribute to the player in glowing words online. One person wrote: "One of my all time favorite Spartans, if not the favorite. Great player, even better person off the court. Sad to see." Another fan remembered the kindness of the slain star: "He was a great kid and a generous guy. He once stopped at basketball camp where my son played and had fun with the kids as if he was part of them." One social media user said: "One of the greatest Spartans I had the privilege to watch and also a terrific human being. Gentle giant."

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