Lacey Holsworth, little Michigan State fan who inspired Adreian Payne, dies

April 9, 2014

Adreian Payne got an assist from Lacey Holsworth after the Big Ten tournament a week ago. (Michael Conroy / AP)

Lacey Holsworth, the little Michigan State fan whose grew close to Adreian Payne as she battled cancer, died early Wednesday at the age of 8.

Her family announced her death on Instagram and Twitter, writing:

“Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels…. The world is a better place because you were in it. Our hearts are broken. We love you Doll. Dance all night… Mommy and Daddy, Will, Mitchell, and Luke #LoveLikeLacey.”

Holsworth, who was suffering from neuroblastoma, met Payne two years ago when the Spartans visited her hospital and they grew so close that Payne always referred to her as his “little sister.”

She helped him cut down the nets after the Big Ten tournament and, last weekend, was in Dallas to watch Payne in the slam dunk contest at the Final Four.

Although Michigan State senior Adreian Payne got third in last night's college dunk contest he put on a show that stole the hearts of many. His biggest fan was on hand to see it. (NowThis News)
After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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