Adreian Payne and Michigan State mourn the loss of 8-year old Lacey Holsworth

Princess Lacey, as she was affectionately known by Michigan State forward, Adreian Payne and the rest of the Spartan team, has lost her battle with cancer. Lacey was just 8 years old.

Adreian met Lacey during a routine hospital visit that the team was on, he stayed aground after other players left and spoke with Lacey and her parents. Since that day, Adreian and Lacey have formed a special bond, both referring to each other as a brother or sister.

Adreian issued a statement today saying, “Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey. She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her. … She said she first liked me because of my smile, but it’s her smile that made America fall in love with her. … I know she’s smiling and dancing in heaven right now. My princess is now an angel.”

Lacey’s parents expressed their sadness today saying, “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”

Lacey is survived by her mom, Heather, dad, Matt and her three brothers, Will, Mitchell and Luke.