Little Girl Who Bonded With NCAA Star Dies


Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans walks on the floor for Senior night with Lacey Holsworth, a 8-year-old from St. Johns Michigan who is battling cancer, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-76 at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient who lived up to her Twitter name @adorablelacey, has died, according to her family. Holsworth became friends with Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and accompanied him throughout the Spartans’ run to the Big Ten championship and the NCAA tournament.  Holsworth’s family announced her passing via social media:

Holsworth suffered from neuroblastoma, cancer discovered in 2011 after she suffered pain while dancing. Doctors found tumors on her kidney and spine severe enough to restrict her movement. During their many public appearances together, Payne would often carry Holsworth, including a trip up the ladder to cut down the nets after Michigan State’s Big Ten championship victory.

Lacey Holsworth and Adreian Payne. Special to Yahoo Sports.

Payne and Holsworth appeared frequently together, most recently at a slam-dunk championship last week in Dallas. Payne’s Twitter account is full of references to Holsworth, including pictures and quotes of inspiration.