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RIP: Tributes for former NBA player Adreian Payne who reportedly dies aged 31

Joshua Rogers May 9, 2022
Adreian Payne death dead cause of death
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Adreian Payne has reportedly died aged 31. The former NBA player played for the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando Magic before playing overseas.

Adreian Payne reportedly dies aged 31

Michigan State football/men’s basketball reporter with the Detroit Free Press, Chris Solari, first broke the news on social media. Philip Lewis, a senior front page editor for The Huffington Post, also shared the tragic news on Twitter:

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The Detroit Free Press appeared to confirm the sad news, posting an article titled ‘Remembering former Michigan State forward Adreian Payne.’

Tributes for Adreian Payne flood in on social media

Tributes flooded in on social media, including former teammate and NBA star Jared Sullinger. Payne was well-known for his friendship with Lacey Holsworth, a young girl who died from cancer.

Payne played college basketball for Michigan State University and was played for the Spartans for four seasons. He was a first-round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, going No. 15 overall to the Atlanta Hawks.

He last played for Juventus Utena of the Lithuanian Basketball League after a successful stint in Greece. He won the GBL championship in 2018 the and Greek Basketball Cup in 2019 with Panathinaikos.

Our thoughts are with Adreian’s friends and family at this incredibly difficult time.

This is a developing news story – we will update this article as more information comes in.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.