Happiness is not meant to be forever, and the same is for the pain! Considering the failure of our life, only those got fail who have got guts to fights for. Like so, Zan Payne saw his career go down before he even had the chance to rise.
However, after two years and nine months of the gruesome knee injury, 21-year-old Payne is now all ready to come back in action. You know what they say, “No Pain. No Gain.”
For those curious, the top player, Zan’s career came to an abrupt end after he tore his right knee’s MCL, ACL, and patellar tendon on February 9, 2018. More details right below.
But first, some quick facts.
|Full Name||Alexander Zan Payne|
|Known as||Zan Payne|
|Birth Date||23rd March 2000|
|Birth Place||Cherry Hill, New Jersey|
|Education||Lexington Catholic High School in Communication|
|Father’s Name||Kenny Payne|
|Mother’s Name||Michelle Payne|
|Siblings||Sister, Alexis Payne|
|Age||21 years (as of March 2021)|
|Height||6 feet 4 inches (184 cm)|
|Weight||97.5 kg (215 lbs)|
|Hair Color||Dark brown|
|Beginning of Professional Career||2018|
|Sports team||Kentucky Wildcats team|
|Net Worth||$7.7 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Kentucky Wildcats Sweatshirt|
Early Life and Parents
Zan Payne was born on 23rd March 2000 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to Kenny and Michelle Payne. Zan’s father, Kenny, was a former UK assistant from 2011-2020 and currently works as an assistant of the New York Knicks.
Likewise, his first name is Alexander but is referred to as Zan most of the time. The Kentucky player even has a sister named Alexis. Also, no, he does not have a brother.
Nonetheless, Zan’s father has been a great influencer in his life. As a matter of fact, Payne’s family has always inspired him to be a true hero who always takes the right decision and does the right thing.
Zan Payne | Career
High School Career
Zan Payne has always been a productive player and a student at the same time for Lexington Catholic High School. He scored 1000 points for the Knights in his early school days with an average of 19.3 points & 8.7 rebounds per game.
Similarly, his coach has always praised him for being a trustworthy captain for a team with such a scorer.
In a short period of time, Zan was able to be a three-year starter and scored 1,282 career points, ranking 14th all-time in program history. Additionally, Zan has collected 934 career rebounds.
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But as time shows reality, Zan got a serious injury that made him finish his career as the school’s fourth all-time career leader in rebounds.
More than his past career, Zan’s damage lasted for two years and nine months, prematurely ending his high school basketball career.
Moreover, the injury occurred on February 9, 2018, where Zan tore his MCL, ACL, and patellar tendon in his right knee. With his Catholic squad down to two points, Payne was making his second-last attempt count.
Sadly, the attempt proved to be life-changing for this young shooter. He apparently landed awkwardly on his leg.
Unfortunately, it was never thought to happen that an injury would end such a productive high school career. Despite being injured, Zan was able to be on Dean’s List in spring 2019; he made it in spring 2020 too.
During his Freshman year, Zan was an SEC First-year Honor Roll member, and while for Redshirt Freshman year, he was into Southeastern Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll member.
However, it took a long for Zan to recover from a knee injury as he had to continue to rehab.
Zan Payne is ready to make a comeback.
After nearly three years, Zan has finally announced himself to be back on the team with a 100% healthy and eligible body. Additionally, he stated he can now contribute to 2020-21 for the Wildcats.
Talking with the UK media, Zan stated that he is just ready and prepared to be back on the court. He said,
“It’s been super long. But I’m back at 100%. I feel good and I’m ready to go.”
Moreover, Payne is excited to be doing what he does the best.
“Whatever coach needs me to do, I can do. I can go in there and play hard, I love playing defense, and I love playing hard. I play to win.”
In November, Zan met up with the media to provide his health updates, preparation for upcoming seasons, and his father’s impacts, leaving Kentucky’s assistant.
Regarding Zan’s health updates and considering the doctor’s prescription, he is now completely recovered, and like other players, he can perform from all of his best, as the coach says.
With the change in time and playing strategy, Zan’s level of players’ strength and capabilities have changed, so it’s obvious for Zan to improve a lot. His Lexington Catholic team does understand his love and enthusiasm for basketball.
Support from father
After 2010, Zan is going to the floor alone for the first time without his father. The former Kentucky star took the job for the 2020 season with the New York Knicks to become an assistant for those who don’t know. It was going to happen under head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Coaching in the NBA has always been the biggest dream for father Kenny Payne, Zan also supports his father as his father does to him. They are still on phone calls encouraging each other, saying to work hard and keep working out.
However, for some reason, it isn’t easy and a bit different for Zan to play without his father around him on the court. He did his best to encourage himself by saying father Kenny might not here physically but will always support him.
“It’s definitely different not having him around. Practice is way different. I still talk to him every day… He just says to keep working hard and keep working out and stuff like that.”
Moreover, Zan added all of his family members are happy and satisfied with the love and effort of both Kenny and Zan towards their dreams.
For Zan, his father Kenny has become a significant influencer. From his early childhood, Zan remembers himself doing work out together every single day. Kenny has taught everything that he knows personally since so beginning.
Day by day, improvements are starting to get to where he can come for practice and get at least some things to do.
As time changes, Lucas believes Zan to get comfortable and have more confidence in his knee.
Preparation for Upcoming Season
Explaining last year’s situation, Zan seems much more confident and energetic to play on the court. His only strategy is to listen to the coaches and go out there and do whatever they told him to do for the upcoming season.
For the upcoming season, all of his teammates and himself had practiced a lot as they were competitive.
With such competitor teammates, practice becomes full of fun with the strong motivation to play hard and win.
Considering the present situation of Corona has also played a role for the upcoming season as all of the Wildcats got lots of time to stay in the gym. In free time, they got more chance to lift weights or conditioning.
Social Media Appearances
Zan is not so much into Facebook but active on Instagram and Twitter, where he loves to post a glimpse of his basketball mates and some memorable stuff on his life.
On Twitter, he retweets inspirational and unique incidents that happened during practice.
Similarly, he has retweeted about other basketball players and Jordan’s family to keep faith in being basketball players.
Additionally, Zan thinks of himself as a newcomer since he has not played for the recent two seasons. He said, and we quote,
“I might know plays and stuff, but it’s the first time for me to come on the court for a whole new season.”
Instagram: 18k followers and 372 followings
Twitter: 6,586 followers and 112 followings
Zan Payne | Net Worth
Zan has been eligible for the 2023 NBA Draft and is expected to make his NBA debut following that. Also, the average net worth of NBA players is $7.7 million for the season. And same is expected to be of Zan Payne.
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Where was Zan Payne injured?
Zan tore his MCL, ACL, and patellar tendon in his right knee, injuring him for more than a year.
Who actually is Zan’s father, Kenny?
Zan Payne’s father, Kenny Payne, was a former UK assistant from 2011-2020 and is a New York Knicks’ current assistant.