Adreian Payne, a former Michigan State basketball player, was shot and died early Monday morning in Orlando, Florida. On Monday morning, a source verified Payne’s death to the Free Press.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said around noon that it responded to a call about a man who had been shot at 1:37 a.m. Payne was taken to a neighboring hospital and later declared dead.
Deputies detained a suspect in the shooting, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, on a first-degree murder warrant at the site. Payne, a Dayton, Ohio native, played for the Spartans from 2010 to 2014, earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades during his junior and senior seasons.
Perhaps his most lasting impact came when the 6-foot-10 forward befriended Lacey Holsworth, a teenage cancer patient from St. Johns who became a presence around the Spartans in 2013-14.
After MSU won the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, Payne held her to help cut down the nets, and their connection became a significant national story during the Spartans’ NCAA tournament run, which ended with an Elite Eight loss to Connecticut.
She died of neuroblastoma complications a little more than a week after the season finished, and Payne and his teammates paid homage to the 8-year-old at an emotional tribute ceremony at Breslin Center.