Based on what we saw on the court, we respected former Michigan State big man Adreian Payne. He was a solid big man and a guy who worked very well in Tom Izzo’s system.
And his relationship with a terminally ill child named Lacey Holsworth was deeply touching. It reminded us of why we couldn’t really hate former UNC star Eric Montross, who had a similar situation. We found his grief deeply moving. Who could hate a guy who put himself on the line like that?
Very sadly, Payne was murdered Tuesday when he and his girlfriend tried to help a friend of hers who was having a fight with her (we assume) boyfriend, who went back inside, came out with a gun, and shot Payne.
He died an hour later at a hospital.
We always liked the guy from afar but we had no idea of just how much he overcame and how much heart he showed. It’s a senseless crime. We can’t imagine what his family is going through.
With his death, you will see in many articles that he was accused of sexual assault as a Spartan. What you don’t see as often is that the prosecutor declined to pursue the case because he didn’t feel a crime had been committed and there was no supporting evidence. That should be mentioned too.