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Izzo Honors Memory Of Lacey Holsworth, Talks Of Inspiration In Face Of Adversity

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Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans hugs head coach Tom Izzo while holding Lacey Holsworth, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-76 at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans hugs head coach Tom Izzo while holding Lacey Holsworth, after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 86-76 at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 6, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – She was the face of Michigan State basketball this past season — and now, the family of 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth of St. Johns, the girl who befriended Spartan basketball star Adreian Payne, is asking that people attending her memorial service next week to wear bright colors and smiles in celebration of her life.

“She has been an inspiration to all of us; her message that should be sent is, don’t ever give up on anything – when you face some tough times like all of us will, make sure that you just keep fightin’ through it,” said Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo. “This little tiny girl, she wasn’t that big, she wasn’t that strong. But she sure was powerful, wasn’t she?”

“Her dad told me that when she came back, she said, ‘Dad, I’m tired, it’s time to go home’ … I think that’s home,” Izzo said through tears.

Izzo was among those who honored Lacey’s memory during a rally on the MSU campus following her death Tuesday from cancer.

The little girl affectionately known as “Princess Lacey,” had neuroblastoma, a nerve-cell cancer. She wore a blond wig because chemotherapy took her hair.

Lacey met Payne during one of her hospital stays two years ago, and their friendship quickly blossomed. She became a valued member of the Spartan family.

 

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Breslin Center on the school’s campus in East Lansing.

The service starts at 6:30 p.m. and parking is free.

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