The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) club Nanjing Monkey Kings paid tribute to its former player Adreian Payne, who was shot and killed at 31 in Florida, the United States.
"Thank you for once being here, Adreian Payne. Rest in peace," the club said on its twitter-like Weibo account, with many fans leaving comments to honor the former CBA player and first-round NBA draft pick.
"I still keep the video taken by my wife of me training with him on my phone. My wife cried after hearing the tragic news. It's just so miserable!" commented Mardan Tursun, the center of the Shenzhen Aviators, who was once Payne's teammate.
Payne joined the Nanjing team in the 2018-19 CBA season, when he averaged 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 27.9 minutes. He was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks and played four seasons in the league with the Hawks, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, Payne's basketball teammate during college years, tweeted broken heart emojis. He announced that he and his wife plan to donate 100,000 U.S. dollars to a foundation in his honor.
According to court documents, Payne was shot while trying to help a woman engaged in a domestic dispute. The gunman has been reportedly arrested on a first-degree murder warrant and transported to a local jail.
A record number of Americans bought guns over the past couple of years, driven by concerns related to the pandemic, protests and rising crime, leading to more and more homicides, said an article published by The Wall Street Journal in April.
More than 23,000 people have died or been injured due to gun-related incidents in the United States this year, according to a database run by the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive.