Gary Payton II (1992- )

Gary Payton II with the Washington Wizards in 2020
Gary Payton II with the Washington Wizards in 2020
Photo by AlexanderJonesi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gary Dwayne Payton II is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. Payton II was born on December 1, 1992, to parents NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton and Monique James in Seattle, Washington. As a junior and senior playing college basketball for the Oregon State Beavers, Payton was named first-team ALL-Pac 12 and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Payton II would have his first start in the NBA on November 22, 2017, against the Phoenix Suns. Payton II received his championship ring with the Golden State Warriors on December 31, 2022.

Payton II has received the NBA’s 2021-22 Bob Lanier Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. The Gary Payton II Foundation, which he created, received a $75,000 donation from the NBA and Kaiser Permanente. The award, which recognizes Payton’s sustained community outreach in support of Bay Area youth over the course of the season, was determined by fan votes on social media and the NBA executive panel. Payton II, who was awarded the January 2022 monthly NBA Cares Community Assist Award, was selected among the league’s 633 players because of his outstanding commitment to serving his community.

In the 2021-2022 season, Payton II launched the GPII Foundation, a nonprofit aimed to act as a conduit for Dyslexia-awareness and to support early screening, detection, and certified assessment for youth and young adults with language-based learning challenges. The foundation will provide funding for educators to get certified in early intervention services and support for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Dyslexia typically presents with primary difficulties in the area of phonological components of language.

Payton hosted his first-ever Reading Rally with Decoding Dyslexia for students affected by learning disabilities. His own personal struggle with dyslexia led to the Warriors expanding their Read to Achieve program to specifically include students with learning disabilities. In addition, Payton leads the team in appearances and has taken part in numerous Warriors initiatives including two Season of Giving events as well as the team’s Black History Month Celebration.