One of the most inspiring stories to emerge from the 2013-14 college basketball season was of the bond forged between Michigan center Adreian Payne and eight-year-old Spartans fan Lacey Holsworth since they met during a hospital visit two years ago. In 2011, Lacey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a fetal-nerve cancer, after back pain led to the discovery of a football-sized tumor surrounding her kidney and wore a blonde wig after the side effects of chemotherapy left her bald.
Princess Lacey, as she came to be known to members of the Michigan State basketball program, was seen carried by Payne during Senior Night intros, and he scooped her up to help him cut the net during the Spartans' Big Ten Tournament title celebration.
Just last week, Lacey was present for Payne's national college basketball slam dunk championship attempt. Unfortunately, Lacey succumbed to her battle with cancer at home with her parents on Tuesday night.
Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels…. The world is a… http://t.co/SAXeJ4D4zH
— Princess Lacey (@adorablelacey) April 9, 2014
“She loved unconditionally and without hesitation spreading her smile and love throughout the world,” her father Matt Holsworth said. "Spreading her love and smile throughout the world. … Please don't let her love and smile fade."