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Draymond Green vows to start a fund in name of his MSU teammate Adreian Payne

Warriors’ Draymond Green mourns the death of former MSU basketball teammate Adreian Payne who was killed on Monday, and vows to start a fund in his name.

Jennifer Bubel

Just before the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies game began on Monday, devastating news broke that former NBA player Adreian Payne was shot and killed. The news hit Warriors player Draymond Green especially hard. Green played with Payne at Michigan State University and was heartbroken to hear of his death.

Payne was just 31 years old when he died. He and Green played together from 2010-2012 at MSU. Payne was a five-star recruit out of Dayton, Ohio and the Atlanta Hawks drafted him 15th overall in 2014. He played for the Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and also had a stint abroad in Greece, China, Turkey, France, and Lithuania. Ahead of the game Monday, Green wore shoes with “RIP AP” and “Long live 5″ on them.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was out with covid-19, but before he entered the safety protocols, he addressed the family and friends of Payne.

“We heard the news this morning and Draymond is just crushed,” said Kerr. “Adreian and Draymond were teammates and best of friends and just devastating news today so our condolences to the family, we’re thinking about them today and yeah, just feeling a lot of grief with everybody involved and Draymond especially is feeling that way so wanted to share that before we start.”

Remembering Adreian Payne - Green to start fund in his name

The Warriors won the game 101-98, but Green was not in a state to celebrate.

“I’m going to go home and sit on my podcast and talk, because I can pause that and cry if I need to cry,” said Green in a post game conference.

He said that he and his wife Hazel would start a foundation to donate $100,000 in Payne’s name and called on Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, former players Magic Johnson, Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr., and all of his Michigan State Spartan family to do the same.

“If that’s naming something on the campus after him, if that is some scholarships for some kids from Dayton, whatever that is, I call on my Spartan family to band together and do something in Adreian’s name,” said Green.

It was clear that Green was heartbroken and struggling to process the emotions from the news.

“I’m going to go home and talk about Adreian,” said Green. “And I’ll talk a little bit about this game, but I can do that at my own speed and my own pace. I apologize. I will give you guys the greatest press conference after Wednesday’s game, but I just don’t have it in me tonight.”


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