Hall of Fame Inductee - Michael Payne
Let there be no doubt as to the importance of Michael Payne to the
Quincy High Blue Devil basketball program. During his days wearing the
Blue and White, the Devils won 91 games, lost 4 and captured the
Illinois Boys Class AA title in 1981. Payne saw significant time as a
sophomore, averaging 6.1 points per game. He grew to a height of 6'11"
during the off season which helped solidify a spot for Michael in the
Devils starting line-up in the years that followed. As a junior, Payne
averaged 14.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for a team that posted a
record of 26-3. That effort earned him recognition as the Devil's Most
Valuable Player. He was also chosen as the Quincy Herald Whig Player of
the Year. In his senior season, with Payne at the point of the Quincy
press and flanked by Bruce and Dennis Douglas, the Devils rolled to 33
straight wins and a State Title; the programs first since 1934. For
Payne, who averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, the honors
were numerous. He was selected as an All-American by both Street &
Smith and Parade Magazines and would later represent Quincy in the
prestigious McDonald's All-Star game. Payne's name was on every
All-State team in Illinois. He was Co-MVP of the Quincy Thanksgiving
Holiday Tournament and was again named as the Quincy Herald Whig Player
of the Year. After high school, Michael followed in his father's
footsteps, choosing to further his education at the University of Iowa.
He starred there all four years under Head Coaches, Lute Olson, and
later, George Raveling. Payne was drafted right out of college by the
NBA's Houston Rockets, but a plethora of big men (Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph
Sampson and others) in the Houston camp forced Michael to take his
talents overseas. He played professionally in France, Italy and
Australia for almost a decade before his career was cut short by a
series of re-occurring knee injuries in the late 1980's.
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