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    Lacey Holsworth, the Little Girl Befriended by Basketball Player Adreian Payne, Dies of Cancer

    Adreian Payne Twitter Twitter

    Very sad news indeed.

    Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old girl who developed a special friendship with Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne, has died.

    "Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances with angels," her family wrote on Instagram alongside a beautiful photo of her blowing a kiss. "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. #LoveLikelLacey."

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    Lacey Holsworth Instagram

    Lacey's father, Matt Holsworth, said his daughter passed away at her family's St. Johns, Mich., home late Tuesday "with her mommy and daddy holding her in their arms," ESPN reports.

    Payne met Lacey, who had a rare form of nerve cancer, two years ago during one of her hospital stays, and a friendship immediately formed. The two proceeded to keep in touch over texts and social media.

    While attending Senior Night at Michigan State recently, Payne walked in with Lacey by his side. What's more, when State won the Big Ten Conference days later, Lacey helped cut down the net and received a championship hat.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Holworth family today," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. "Princess Lacey has taught us all an incredible lesson about love, strength and toughness. We can all learn from her on how to handle adversity with class and dignity."

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