Minnesota Timberwolves forward Adreian Payne drives with the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Feb. 27, 2016, in New Orleans. Jonathan Bachman/AP hide caption
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Adreian Payne drives with the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Feb. 27, 2016, in New Orleans.
Tributes are pouring in for former NBA and Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne, who was shot and killed in Orlando on Monday.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a call at 1:37 a.m. Monday and found Payne had been shot. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Payne was 31.
Authorities say the suspected shooter, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, remained at the scene and was interviewed by homicide detectives.
Dority was arrested on a warrant for first degree murder and sent to Orange County Jail. Police didn’t list a motive for the shooting or give any other details.
Payne left Michigan State in 2014 as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, also boasting 1,232 career points and 735 career rebounds as a college player.
He had also been given the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s first-ever Outreach Award in 2014 for the bond he formed with then 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, who had become ill with neuroblastoma in 2012 and died in 2014.
Adreian Payne walks on the court with Lacey Holsworth, who was battling cancer, after a Michigan State Spartans victory in 2014. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images hide caption
Adreian Payne walks on the court with Lacey Holsworth, who was battling cancer, after a Michigan State Spartans victory in 2014.
Michigan State men’s basketball Coach Tom Izzo said he was shocked by Payne’s death.
“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,” Izzo said in a statement.
“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.”
The Atlanta Hawks picked Payne in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. He also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and, most recently, the Orlando Magic.
Additionally, Payne played basketball abroad in China, Greece, France, Turkey and Lithuania, according to Michigan State.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green paid homage to Payne, his college teammate, during Monday night’s game by wearing the message “Long Live 5” on his sneakers, a reference to Payne’s number at Michigan State.
Green also said he and his wife, Hazel, would donate $100,000 to a fund in Payne’s name.