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Here's why MSU basketball wears a patch with the numbers 5 and 24

The Michigan State men's basketball team has worn a patch with the numbers "5" and "24" across its right shoulder all season long to honor two former players who died in 2022.
The Michigan State men's basketball team has worn a patch with the numbers "5" and "24" across its right shoulder all season long to honor two former players who died in 2022.

The Michigan State men's basketball team has been wearing a patch on its right shoulder above the Nike symbol all season.

It has a black background with the number 5, the Spartan logo and the number 24, all in white.

The patch honors two stars of MSU's past who died in 2022 — Adreian Payne and Stan Washington.

No. 5

The 5 honors Adreian Payne, the center who starred for the Spartans from 2010-14. He was shot and killed in May 2022 in Orlando, Florida, after going with his girlfriend to assist a female acquaintance who was in an allegedly abusive relationship when the suspect, Lawrence Dority, shot and killed Payne.

MSU's Adreian Payne dropped 41 points against Delaware in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament.
MSU's Adreian Payne dropped 41 points against Delaware in the first round of the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Payne, 31, earned second-team All-Big Ten honors his junior and senior seasons at MSU. He holds the Spartans' postseason record for most points in a tournament game (41 vs. Delaware, 2014), graduated as the program's all-time leader in blocks and is one of 10 Spartans to compile career stats of 1,200 points and 700 rebounds.

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Payne was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. He played in 107 NBA games over three seasons with the Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, averaging 4.0 points per game between 2014-2018.

He then played overseas in Greece, China, France, Turkey and Lithuania between 2018-2022.

Payne was also known for his close friendship with a cancer-stricken young girl from the area, Lacey Holsworth, who was a fixture at 2013-14 Spartan games.

No. 24

Stan Washington was one of MSU's stars back in the 1960s, averaging 18 points a game in his career, sixth-best in school history.

Washington, who stayed in Lansing after his career, died in July 2022 at 78 years old. He finished his career for the Spartans ranked second all-time in scoring.

His son, Saddi Washington, was a star at Sexton High School and has been an assistant coach at Michigan since 2016.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Here's why MSU basketball wears a patch with the numbers 5 and 24