St. Charles North senior Quinten Payne spoke earlier this month about how much he looked forward to being pushed by big brother Cully Payne once he begins his college basketball career later this year.
It now appears the brothers will not have the chance to suit up alongside one another – at least not at Loyola.
Continuing what has been a remarkably twist-filled transfer history for the Payne clan, Loyola announced Friday that Cully Payne, a junior guard for the Ramblers this season, will not return for his senior year, and that Quinten Payne will be released from the letter of intent he signed with the Ramblers.
Reached Friday night, Kent Payne, the boys’ father and athletic director at Elgin Community College, confirmed it was the Paynes’ decision to sever ties with Loyola.
“Very few kids get to play Division I athletics, but the ones that do, it’s quite challenging,” Kent Payne said. “Finding the right situation and putting that all together is a beautiful thing. Sometimes it just doesn’t work like you kind of planned it.”
Kent Payne declined to discuss the reason behind the change but said “it’s been a history” as opposed to a recent incident that prompted the decision. He said he is “appreciative” that Loyola let Quinten Payne out of his letter of intent, which allows him to pick a new school without having to sit out.
Quinten Payne was the Kane County Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a senior. The explosive, 6-foot-4 guard led the area in scoring at 19.8 points a game.
Cully Payne, whose high school career was split between Burlington Central and Schaumburg, averaged 7.9 points and 4.2 assists in his lone season playing for the Ramblers.
“Cully has indicated to me that he will not return for his senior season and subsequently, Quinten has asked for a release from his NLI,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said in the school’s statement. “We wish Cully and Quinten nothing but the best in their future endeavors.”
Kent Payne said the family informed Loyola of its intentions the day after Loyola’s season ended earlier this month.
The news surely will raise eyebrows in light of the family’s history of transfers – especially for Cully. Cully Payne committed to DePaul as an eighth-grader, then de-committed and chose Alabama before landing at Iowa and then transferring to Loyola.
Kent Payne noted that coaching changes at Alabama and Iowa factored heavily into Cully Payne’s previous moves.
“If people could walk in his shoes and our shoes, then they can make assumptions,” Kent Payne said. “Division I athletics is a different world, man.”
Quinten Payne was a starter for the North Stars each of the past three seasons after playing his freshman year in Florida. The boys’ sister, Katlyn Payne, is also a Division I basketball player; she is a redshirt sophomore at Eastern Illinois after beginning her college career at Florida Gulf Coast.
Kent Payne said Cully Payne should be eligible to play one more season this winter provided he graduates from Loyola this summer. Quinten Payne, meanwhile, “is going to be pretty valued out there” on the recruiting trail, Kent Payne said.
Kent Payne said the brothers will not necessarily end up at the same spot.