One of the stories that grabbed the attention of college basketball fans last season was that of 8-year old Lacey Holsworth, whose fight against cancer inspired many as did her relationship with then-Michigan State forward Adreian Payne. Sadly Holsworth lost her battle against the disease, passing away in in early April.
Life for the rest of her family, parents Heather and Matt and brothers William, Mitchell and Luke has been difficult in the six months that have passed. In a story written by David Harns of the Lansing State Journal, the Holsworths discussed what life has been like for them in the aftermath of Lacey’s passing. Not only are the difficult days discussed, but also the amount of support they’ve received from a number of people including those within the Michigan State community.
Although Payne is getting settled in Atlanta – where he will start his NBA career – he still finds time to text and video chat with the Holsworths. Other Spartans have stayed in contact, including Matt Costello, who attended a recent golf outing in Lacey’s honor.
The entire Trice family is “amazing,” according to Heather, and Travis – a senior who read scripture passages during Lacey’s Life Celebration – is a “sweetheart” who often sends the family encouraging texts and messages.
Heather said she sees “Lacey’s heart” when she and Matt look at the MSU players.
“The Spartan family is so unique,” Heather said. “They just picked us right up and made us part of the family.”
The full story can be read here.
The story of Lacey Holsworth is one that received a of attention over the last two years and with good reason. Fighting cancer, Holsworth’s friendship with former Michigan State forward Adreian Payne served as an inspiration for many and that remains the case to this day.
Holsworth lost her battle in early April, and her determination led to three sisters in Louisville paying tribute to her in their own way.
In a story written by Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal, horse owner Greg James discussed the impact that Holsworth’s story had on his three daughters who are between the ages of seven and 12. With Holsworth being eight years old at the time of her passing, the story was one the girls could identify with.
What happened next made James proud, and it made him hug his girls a little tighter. They approached him after Lacey’s death and said they wanted her to be remembered. They didn’t want people to forget.
The James family, which owns racehorses on a 57-acre farm east of in Middletown, happened to have a young filly preparing for her first race. James had planned to name her Interesting’s Bull, but Ericka asked if they could name her Lacey the Spartan instead.
“I just felt bad so for her family,” Ericka said. “I wanted to name our horse in her honor.”
James stated in the story that should Lacey the Spartan, who finished fourth in her first race, earn winnings he would like to donate a portion to charity in Holsworth’s name.
Thursday night at the Breslin Center on the Michigan State campus, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of 8-year old Lacey Holsworth. Holsworth, whose fighting spirit was a source of inspiration for many, lost her lengthy bout with cancer on April 8.
Among those inspired by Holsworth was former Michigan State forward Adreian Payne, whom she referred to as her “Superman.” As part of Thursday’s ceremony Payne performed a “silent dunk” with his teammates looking on from underneath the basket. Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press wrote a story about the night, which included a video tribute from Holsworth’s mother, Heather.
Then it was time for Heather’s taped tribute. She said her “heart is screaming” as she mourns her daughter, who she called “a tomboy with a tutu.”
“There’s not enough pages in a book to do her justice,” Heather said, and she told of her daughter’s determination to beat her brothers in a race when she was 5 years old.
“The crazy thing?” Heather said. “She did it all in a skirt. And that’s what Lacey was. A mixture of grace and grit.”
Above is a video put together in Lacey’s honor by the Michigan State athletic department.
Michigan State senior forward Adreian Payne was honored at the John R. Wooden Awards Gala on Friday night in Los Angeles as Payne was given the first ever Outreach Award for his friendship with 8-year-old cancer patient Lacey Holsworth.
Holsworth sadly lost her life to neuroblastoma on April 9th after first being diagnosed in 2011.
Payne’s friendship with Princess Lacey became an international story this season as the 8-year-old Holsworth attended numerous Michigan State games, participated in Senior Day festivities with Payne and helped the Spartans cut down the nets in Indianapolis after their Big Ten Conference Tournament title. She also meant a lot to the Michigan State team and fanbase and head coach Tom Izzo gave a tearful speech at a candlelight vigil held for Lacey on Michigan State’s campus earlier this week.
The Associated Press was in Los Angeles to capture Payne’s speech upon accepting the Outreach Award:
“She wouldn’t want me to be sad,” Payne said. “It’s hard.”
The crowd stood to applaud Payne, who spoke softly in accepting the award, saying he nearly didn’t travel to Los Angeles after the girl’s death but was encouraged to by her father.
“He told me Lacey would want me to come out,” Payne said. “It’s not just for me, it’s for her. That’s the main reason why I came.”
Payne was also accompanied by Holsworth to the team’s season-ending banquet and traveled with him to Final Four weekend when the senior participated in the college dunk contest.
“I just wanted to keep winning games because I knew she looked forward to it,” Payne said. “Once it was over it just seemed like she had nothing else to look forward to.”
A memorial service for Holsworth is also set for Thursday at Michigan State’s Breslin Center.
“I learned so much, just seeing her fight every day,” Payne said. “It’s really been hard. She taught me to preserve through anything.”
Eight-year old Lacey Holsworth was a child who became an inspirational figure for the Michigan State basketball team, due to her lengthy fight with brain cancer. The player she grew closest to was forward Adreian Payne, whom she frequently referred to as her “Superman.” On Tuesday it was announced that Holsworth passed away, with the news affecting those both within and outside of the Michigan State program.
A candlelight vigil was held in Holsworth’s honor at the Rock on the Michigan State campus Wednesday night, and head coach Tom Izzo gave an emotional speech to those in attendance.
h/t The Sporting News