Father: Girl Befriended by Basketball Star Has Died

Lacey Holsworth died at her St. Johns, Mich., home late Tuesday

By Mike Householder
|  Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014  |  Updated 10:27 AM CDT
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An 8-year-old girl with cancer befriended Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne, and the two became inseparable. NBC News tells the story of their friendship.

An 8-year-old girl with cancer befriended Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne, and the two became inseparable. NBC News tells the story of their friendship.

The father of an 8-year-old girl with cancer who befriended Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne says his daughter has died.

Matt Holsworth says Lacey Holsworth died at their St. Johns, Mich., home late Tuesday "with her mommy and daddy holding her in their arms."

Lacey met Payne during one of her hospital stays two years ago, and their friendship quickly blossomed and strengthened.

When it was Payne's turn to be honored during Senior Night, the 6-foot-10 center scooped up Lacey and carried her around the court. He did it again in Indianapolis after Michigan State won the Big Ten tournament, and the little girl with the blond wig was there when he took part in a recent slam-dunk competition.

Holsworth said Wednesday Lacey "loved unconditionally and without hesitation."
 

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