Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old friend of Michigan State University basketball star Adreian Payne, died late Tuesday of cancer.
Lacey, who had neuroblastoma, became close friends with Payne when the team visited her during a hospital stay two years ago, and captured the nation's attention with photos and videos of her at basketball games.
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Lacey, who appeared on the "Today" show and “Good Morning America” helped cut down the net when Michigan State won the Big Ten tournament and watched Payne compete in a slam dunk contest last week.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo expressed his concern for Lacey’s family in a statement.
"She has become an inspiration to our team, our families, our university, and most recently our entire nation,” Izzo said, according to Reuters
. “At just eight years old, she has given us all a lifetime of memories. We are all saddened today, but we are all better people for having known Lacey. Her smile and passion for life will live in the hearts of everyone she has touched across our country."
Lacye’s family posted the picture above with this caption on Instagram: “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’s father, Matt Holsworth, told the Lansing State Journal
there will be a memorial service on April 17 and encouraged people to "Continue her legacy! Love unconditionally."
Twitter users expressed their support and the hashtag #RIPLacey was trending nationally Wednesday.
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