Professional Basketball Player. He played for the Michigan State Spartans from 2010 to 2014 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 at the time and as one of 10 Spartans ever with 1,200 career points and 700 career rebounds. He also developed a bond with Lacey Holsworth, a young Michigan State fan who had terminal cancer. Their friendship transcended the sport and their connection became a national story. Lacey passed away in April 2014. Payne went to the Atlanta Hawks with the 15th pick of the 2014 NBA draft, and was later traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during his rookie season and played 107 NBA games over three seasons, finishing with five games in 2017-2018 after signing with the Orlando Magic, and averaging 4.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game. After being released by the Orlando Magic, he then bounced around overseas, finishing the 2018 season with Panathinaikos in Greece after being cut and then playing briefly in China early in 2018. He returned to Panathinaikos in early 2019 and helped win a Greek Basketball Cup before being released in March that year. After spending time in France and Turkey from 2019 to 2021, he signed in December 2021 with Juventus Utena in Lithuania. He averaged 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in seven games before being released.
Bio by: Bradley M.
Gloria J. Lewis