Some sad news out of East Lansing, Michigan, this morning: Lacey Holsworth, an 8-year-old cancer patient who became friends with Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne and the men’s basketball program, has died.
Lacey’s parents posted the below photo on Instagram with the caption “Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels….” to announce the news.
Spartan and college basketball fans will know Lacey from appearances with the Spartan basketball team during the 2014 season, as she accompanied Payne during Senior Night at the team’s home of Breslin Center. She also was with the team during their Elite Eight game in New York and Big Ten Tournament championship game where she helped Payne cut down the nets after the Spartans’ victory.
Payne and the team met Lacey two years ago at a Michigan hospital where she was receiving treatment for neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells. Inspired by her perseverance, Payne stayed in touch with Lacey and her family through text messages and social media, and his bond with Lacey led she and her family to say they became like brother and sister. Her condition worsened this year, and a crowd-sourcing campaign helped raise $70,000 for her treatments.