Adreian Payne and 8-year old Lacey Holsworth met each other two years ago in a hospital where she was being treated for Neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve Cancer. The cliche of a star athlete visiting sick kids ended as soon as they met, and now Payne and “Princess Lacey” have become like brother and sister.
On the court Payne is a beast, I mean just look at his record setting performance in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Off the court, Payne has shown his heart is bigger than anyone could guess.
Adreian and Lacey were complete strangers prior to meeting in the hospital, but have become family over the last two years. The two text daily and Payne has made sure that Lacey is part of his Michigan State family. This was made obvious as Lacey helped Payne cut down the nets after the Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament.
Lacey also accompanied Payne onto the court for senior night in East Lansing, but Adreian also makes sure he goes the extra mile for Lacey too. Earlier this month, Adreian came to a fundraising party for Lacey and her family.
There is no guarantee that Lacey’s story will have a happy ending, as her form of Cancer is very aggressive and keeps coming back. That being said, I don’t know of any story in sports that is more emotionally uplifting than this one.
The genuine friendship between Adreian and Lacey is bigger than basketball. . .
Bigger than the NCAA tournament . . .
Bigger than Cancer . . .
Thank you Adreian and Lacey for showing us what it really should be all about.