As a young girl battling cancer, Lacey Holsworth formed a strong bond with Adreian Payne especially, along with the rest of the Michigan State Spartans. She earned the nickname of “Princess Lacey,” and even gained national coverage through her incredible story, but lost her life this morning.
She would accompany the team to their big games, and just last week, the 8-year-old was in Dallas, Texas cheering on Payne as he participated in a dunk contest that was held prior to the NCAA National Championship. She also traveled to New York in order to see them play in the NCAA tournament, where she was shown in the crowd.
Lacey Holsworth became a close friend to Adreian Payne, and one of the faces of the Michigan State basketball team over the course of the season. The two of them met two years ago when Holsworth was in a hospital that the basketball team was visiting in Lansing, MI. Holsworth was from St. Johns, MI.
Holsworth had been hospitalized for neuroblastoma, a rare childhood brain cancer, and while she gave a tough fight, her family announced her death via Instagram this morning, saying that she achieved the ultimate victory.
The two of them shared an incredible bond, and Adreian Payne was looked up to as a big brother by “Princess Lacey.” Speaking on having her at the games, Payne said “It’s like having a family member who’s really sick. The only thing you can do is play basketball. You can’t be there with them. Just knowing that when I play well, it makes her happy. It feels like I’m doing something, in a way, to make her feel better.”
The relationship with Payne and the rest of the Spartans certainly helped her keep fighting the cancer, and while she had some victories in her fight, the cancer kept coming back, and eventually spread to her neck, head and pelvic region.
— Gary Harris (@thats_G_) April 9, 2014
— Genna Lee (@Gennaral_Lee) April 9, 2014
In addition to being Adreian Payne’s escort on senior night, Lacey Holsworth also went up to the top of the ladder with him in order to assist in cutting down the night following MSU’s win in the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan.
Following the death of “Princess Lacey,” MSU’s coach Tom Izzo said “If there’s any way to go with dignity, she went (that way). Sad but I’m also proud, if that makes any sense.”
My prayers go out to Lacey's family. Her impact will last forever. #PrincessLacey
— Larry Caper II (@Lcaper_22) April 9, 2014
Rest in peace to an angel an inspiration and someone we can all learn something from… "Princess" Lacey
— Max Bullough (@Bullough40) April 9, 2014
Michigan State was predicted to go far in the NCAA tournament, and with the belief of Lacey Holsworth on their side, they made it to the Elite Eight, but could not get past UConn, who ended up winning the championship.
The family of Lacey Holsworth will be in the thoughts of the Spartans and all of their fans, as they mourn their biggest little fan, “Princess Lacey.” Her bond with the Spartans was incredible to see, and the team continued to play for her, wanting to make their biggest fan proud.
Image via Youtube