College basketball, NBA worlds react to Adreian Payne’s untimely death in Orlando shooting

Former Michigan State forward and 2014 first-round pick Adreian Payne was shot and killed in Orlando, Florida on Monday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Payne, the No. 15 pick to the Atlanta Hawks in 2014, was 31 years old.

The NBA and college basketball worlds were hit hard by the news. Payne made national headlines due to his friendship with 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth, a cancer patient who died just a few weeks after Michigan State won the Big Ten Championship in 2014. Payne and Holsworth cutting down the nets together remains an unforgettable moment.

Draymond Green, who played with Payne in 2011 and was close friends with the former Spartan, was mournful Monday.

Steve Kerr expounded in his availability Monday. “Draymond is crushed,” he said, per Vincent Goodwill. “They were the best of friends. We’re thinking of them today. Feeling a lot of grief.”

Others offered their remembrances of Payne.

Payne took a break from basketball in September as he looked out for his 4-year-old son Amari while Amari had a brain procedure. He played three seasons, spending most of his time on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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