Adreian Payne, ex-Michigan State basketball star, dead at 31

Former Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne was shot and killed early Monday morning in Orlando, Florida.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida announced it responded to a call at 1:37 a.m. of a man who had been shot. Payne was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies arrested a suspect in the shooting, 29-year-old Lawrence Dority, at the scene on a warrant for first-degree murder.

Former MSU teammate Anthony Ianni called Payne “truly a gentle giant.”

“He was just all about life. He was all about putting smiles on people’s faces. And he was just a kind and gentle soul,” said Ianni, who played with Payne from 2010-12. “That that was Adreian Payne that we all that we that we watched grow, and that’s the guy that we were proud to call our brother.”

[ Social media floods with tributes for former Michigan State star Adreian Payne ]

Adreian Payne, with 8-year-old MSU fan Lacey Holsworth, after winning the Big Ten Tournament in 2014.

Payne, a 31-year-old native of Dayton, Ohio, played for the Spartans from 2010-14 and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors his junior and senior seasons.

He broke MSU’s postseason record with 41 points against Delaware in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament and finished his career as MSU’s all-time leader in blocks (since broken by Xavier Tillman and Marcus Bingham Jr.) and as one of 10 Spartans ever with 1,200 career points and 700 career rebounds.

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