Former Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne passes away

Atlanta Hawks, NCAA Basketball

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Former Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne passed away at the age of 31.

The college hoops world is in mourning, as former Michigan State basketball standout Adreian Payne passed away at the age of only 31.

The Detroit Free Press confirmed of Payne’s untimely passing on Monday morning. Payne played four seasons for Tom Izzo in East Lansing from 2010 to 2014 before being a first-round pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft. The two-time all-Big Ten performer played in the NBA and the G League for four seasons before heading overseas, most recently with Juventus Utena.

But perhaps what Payne was best known for was his friendship with Lacey Holsworth during her battle with cancer during his time at Michigan State. How incredibly sad.

Former Michigan state basketball player Adreian Payne passes away at 31

Payne was a former five-star recruit out of his native Dayton, Ohio. The 6-foot-10, 237-pound power forward signed with Michigan State and went on to be one of the most beloved players to ever play for Izzo in East Lansing. This is where he first met Holsworth, who he referred to affectionately as “Princess Lacey”. She sadly passed away from cancer on April 8, 2014.

There is no other way around this other than this is just sad. Payne may have accomplished so much on the basketball floor, but he had so much life left to live. He may have been an unforgettable player on the court during his four-year run with the Spartans, but his character and his friendship with Holsworth will be his longest lasting legacy. At least they are reunited now…

Condolences to the Michigan State family and may Payne’s family find peace after his passing.

For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.

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