The Michigan State men's basketball team is in the thick of the NCAA Tournament with a Sweet 16 game against Kansas State riding on their shoulders Thursday night.
You may have noticed, atop their rotation of different jerseys during March Madness, some new decor. A patch, symbolic of remembrance for the past.
The patch is a black rectangle with a number 5 and number 24 separated by a small Spartan logo in white font. It sits above the Nike symbol on the right shoulder.
What is the 5–24 patch for on MSU's jerseys?
The 2022-23 Michigan State men's basketball team decided to honor the legacy of Adreian Payne and Stan Washington with a commemorative patch on the right breast of their jerseys. It reads: "5–24" with a small Spartan head separating the two numbers.
The numbers reflect the jerseys the two men wore while playing for the Spartans.
While Washington's No. 24 is not currently active, freshman guard Tre Holloman has chosen to represent Payne's No. 5.
Who was Adreian Payne?
Payne played for Michigan State from 2010-14 under head coach Tom Izzo. The 6-foot-10 center was a two time All-Big Ten second team selection and stands as one of nine players in program history with 1,200 career points and 700 career rebounds.
Payne was especially known for his relationship with Lacey Holsworth, an 8-year-old cancer patient. Their friendship started when they met during a team-sponsored hospital visit in 2011. The two communicated frequently afterward and Holsworth actually got to be a part of two major events in Payne's collegiate basketball career.
She accompanied Payne to center court on his Senior Night as part of his family, and helped him cut down the nets after the 2013-14 team won the Big Ten men's basketball tournament.
Holsworth, also affectionately known as "Princess Lacey," died a little over a year later, on April 8, 2014.
Payne was selected 15th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Hawks. He played in the NBA and G-League until 2018 before heading overseas to play in China, Greece, France, Turkey and Lithuania.
The Ohio native was shot to death on May 9, 2022, in Orlando. He was 31.
MORE: College basketball, NBA worlds react to Adreian Payne's death
Who was Stan Washington?
Washington played for Michigan State from 1963-66 under head coach Forrest "Forddy" Anderson.
Known as "Stan the Man," Washington finished his Spartans career ranked second all-time in scoring and with 1,242 points in 69 games over three seasons. He still ranks sixth-all time in scoring average with 18 points per game; he also ranks fifth in rebounds per game with 10.5 (despite standing only 6-foot-3) and ninth in free throw percentage at 81.5%.
The Lakers selected Washington in the fifth round of the 1966 NBA Draft, as the 48th overall pick but he did not play professionally.
The Detroit native died on July 12, 2022. He was 78 and is survived by his wife, Veda, and three sons, Kareem, Saddi and Famoun.
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